If I could save time in a bottle...

Monday, May 5, 2008

First, the exciting news..

While it's a bit pre-mature to be saying this, Mrs. Hazmat and I are looking at the very high likelihood of Haz-baby number two!

Yes, yes, thank you for your congratulations, we are both very excited.

Now, it does raise an interesting question, is it possible to maintain your training and dedication while still being a great husband, father, and provider?

Whew.. no pressure. :)

Well, let's go over what I've learned during the last year with my daughter.

1. Find a school with lots of scheduling options.

This is so important it has to come first, if you don't have class options then you are going to be stuck missing a lot of mat time. I'm lucky, my gym is stocked with options so I'm in good shape... when I can make it.

2. Remind yourself that you AREN'T a professional athlete and your health is very important.

I like to train, I like to train hard, in fact, until my daughter was born I was willing to roll with almost anyone. Since then.. well, let's just say I'm much more  selective. Hey, it's simple, I must be a Dad, Husband, and Provider first, so going all out 100% with spaz-tastic people is just not an option. I've even gone so far as to simply refuse to roll with people I don't trust. I really don't care what they think anymore, it's a matter of personal health and safety, both of which are much more important than someone's bruised ego.

3. Carve out a little space.

Ok, here's where I have a distinct advantage, I own a second garage that doubles as my office and gym. Yes the floors are padded and I have enough room in there to roll, lift, or work. It's my oasis 15 feet off the starboard bow. Now not everyone is going to have an option like that, but I know plenty of guys that invest in some fold out mat and carve out some space in their garage. Whatever you have to do, find the space and you'll find that you can find the time to use it.

4. The wee hours

I find that there are times when "all the world's asleep" and I can often grab 30 minutes of time and get some one-on-one training with Harvey (Submission Master Dummy) taken care of. When are these times? O'Dark 30. Or, more often than not, very early in the morning or very late at night. No, you aren't going to have access to a buddy to train with, so these are going to be conditioning, lifting, or drills time, but if you found the space, this is when you find the time.

5. Find more friends

Now that you've got a mission, recruit more guys/girls from your gym. Find people that are in a similar situation and can meet up at odd times for Open Mat. If you are really lucky, look to get your spouses together. If that works you are in great shape, as the spouses can often "co-share" with the kids and it makes everything easier.

6. Have fun

Yes, enjoy yourself, no, you aren't going to excel faster than that college kid who spends every waking moment training, but you aren't in that phase of your life anymore. Enjoy the phase you are in, accept the ups and downs it offers, and have fun.


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gene said...

White Collar JJ Blogger:

Excellent post. I have been lurking for a while, but this post caused me to comment. I am a brown belt who has been struggling with the transition from always-training graduate student to husband, professional, and part-time BJJ stylist. Your rules are spot on with my experience.


hazmat said...

It's tough man, I don't have all the answers, I just ask a lot of questions.

Thanks for reading!


Steve said...

Spot on commentary. We're expecting our third (a girl).

The only thing I would add to your observations is the importance of getting organized and being disciplined with your time. This ties into drilling at odd times, but you do what you have to do.

With a baby on the way, I'm working hard now to get my ducks in a row, having a plan, and a backup plan, too. My wife travels a lot for her work, so when she goes back to her job I'll be back to being large and in charge 3 or 4 days each week. Getting to roll will be difficult, but not impossible.

This time around, I'm going to be counting on my kids to step up. They're 10 and 12 now, and I'm looking forward to their help.

hazmat said...

Nice Steve!

My daughter is 18 months.. will be just over 2 when "number two" arrives.

I'm working on my "plan" now..

Thank the Lord I at least have Harvey the Grappling Dummy.


Dave said...

Thanks for your site--this will be the first time for me in blogging--at 50! Have a child, family, and a good career (high school science teacher), and love BJJ--so ordered a submission dummy for the O'dark thirty skill training--now, what do you suggest as drills? Had a very encouraging advisor say he can do all the same on a heavy bag--Ick. Am fairly new to the whole scene (JJ), and am "more than willing to forge the rivers". Once again, THANKS FOR YOUR SITE.


hazmat said...


Hopefully you got a submission master dummy, I love mine.. been meaning to do a review on it..

For drills I like to map out specific sets of drills.. guard drills (submission, sweep, etc) or mount (submission, transition, etc) and work 20-50 per side per technique.

Then, if there's time remaining, I experiment with stuff.

Glad you found my blog, good to know another reader.


Georgette said...

Hazmat-- wonderful post! Found your blog through Slideyfoot's. I am new to BJJ (1 month or so) and newly married (2 months) and probably planning on getting preggers this fall. I'm almost 36, so I'm navigating lots of new waters now plus the inevitable aches from a more-slow-to-recover body. Not 100% looking forward to the transition to motherhood but it's reassuring to know that balance can be found! Keep up the great work :)

hazmat said...

Thanks Georgette, happy to have another reader!

Just checked out your blog, congratulations on the wedding!