Friday, July 17, 2009

Make it a Double.....

(7/16/09 5:00pm 105 Degrees) Fitness Kickboxing
(7/16/09 6:00pm 105 Degrees) BJJ

One of my post-surgery, post-heart problem recovery goals was to be able to take on our Fitness Kickboxing class and to then dive right into the Jits class immediately afterward.

Goal accomplished.

All day Thursday I was super sore from the Tuesday night conditioning session. I was suffering from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in a pretty major way. I could barely walk up the set of stairs leading to my desk. When it came time to leave work, my brain was engaged in a bitter wrestling match. Should I go to the 5:00 Kickboxing class, even though I am sore that my soreness is sore, even though I know that it will help me to feel better; or should I just head home, soak my body in near-boiling water and hope that tomorrow is a more mobile day? And besides, its over 100 degrees outside, which means the gym will be somewhere in the high 90's.

I actually started driving toward home. I got quite far before I took a deep breath, unwadded my panties, turned the car around and set a trajectory toward the gym. I told myself, "just go for conditioning and take it easy if you need to". You see the funny part about that is I can NEVER seem to take it easy but I was still able to convince myself of it.

I got to the gym a bit early so I was able to change, get some water and wrap my hands in peace. I really needed that short bit of time to recharge my batteries and to stretch most of my tension away.

And then it began. The session on Tuesday was very leg heavy and that was where the majority of my pain was living. Ironically (in the Alanis Morisette way and not the literal way) I was feeling much stronger and in better shape than I had since my return. Don't get me wrong, I was still dying but I felt like I was dying just a bit less. I performed each exercise and combination with everything I had and by the end I was shaking and covered with sweat.

In the locker room I began to dry off and pack up to head home. I then had another moment of pause. I felt really good despite being half dead. I LOVE Jiu Jitsu, I figured that even a class in which I would totally suck, it would still be good for me. So I took off my t-shirt and peeled on my rashguard. I managed to get my gi on and get out to the mats.

We have a standing rule that if you participate in the conditioning class then you do not have to engage in the BJJ warm-ups. Most of you know about BJJ warm-ups and I'm sure I've written about our special little brand of hell in the past. When I got to the mats the warm-ups were at about the half-way point, just before the shrimping, monkeys and other exercises that take you back and forth across the mats. I decided, if I am going to die, it may as well be face down on the mats; so I joined in.

After the warm-ups completed we started drills. There were not a whole lot of long time guys there so Fritz had us work on a perpetual motion drill that involved: lapel choke from the mount, upa escape, lapel choke from the guard, guard pass to side control, pass from side control to mount....and continue in that order. I love drilling like this. Any chance to work on the fundamentals and drill them repeatedly is welcome by me. One thing that was kind of funny was the fact that even though I had already punished myslef in the conditioning class, I seemed to have more fuel than the guy I was working with. I think things are getting better.

When it came time to roll, I stuck to my commitment of not rolling till I am off my post-surgery meds. I saw Howard in the class (gigantic, yet athletic blue belt). Howard and I worked with each other once since I've been back and he knows my condition and how to roll without it killing me. I asked him if he wanted to go and before we could, Fritz asked me to work with the brand new, first night kid named Aldo. I love rolling but at the same time I LOVE teaching someone new about our art.

I taught Aldo the lapel choke and showed him how to apply it kneeling, from the guard and from the mount. Once he had it I started our very own perpetual motion drill similar to the one we were doing in class (while he was relegated to the side of the mat practicing the good ol' UPA). As he got more and more comfortable I started upping the resistance and introducing him to the principals of head and hip control, hip movement and energy conservation. At one point I was defending, with him in mount, using just my hips and movement. What a great session. I left the gym so spent yet so exhilarated.

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