Ok, it’s the end of the second week of 2010. Really, 2010? We have only had two weeks in this New Year and already there is so much to report. It has been a busy year thus far and this is the first real chance I have had to be able to sit down and put virtual pen to virtual paper. Since this is my first post of the New Year and I have had some time to reflect I guess it is time to announce my goals to the community.
Recap of 2009:
January started off like I had hoped and expected. There was a lot of BJJ going on until I went back to work and then naturally it began to curtail as the grind resumed. Still, I was optimistic and feeling improvements for the first time in a long time. It might just be a good year.
Then in February I suffered two strokes within 24 hours. Those were strokes 4 and 5 respectively in my relatively short life. To my friends under 30, shut up. I’m still young…ish. Anyway, these strokes landed me in the hospital and shaped the rest of my year.
While in the hospital, I was diagnosed with a PFO, a hole in my heart that allows small clots, less oxygenated blood and other nasties to circumvent the normal filtering process and loop straight to my brain. Yeah, it’s as crappy as it sounds. Well at the end of April I had heart surgery. I was free to return to action in the gym around July. Needless to say, six months of NOTHING really took a toll.
I spent many a night in the fitness kickboxing class to rebuild cardio and strength. That was a long, tedious and sometimes frustrating process. I felt a great sense of accomplishment after each session and now I am so very glad I did it. I can really feel the difference and I know it has helped me to lay a foundation for this year.
I did do more and more BJJ toward the end of the year and I even got my second stripe. Finally. I have been training off and on since October 2007 and I am a two stripe white belt. I am not complaining, just stating the fact. During all that time I have had strokes and other medical problems keep me off the mats for long periods of time. I am so very optimistic that 2010 represents the first year ever in which I will have no substantial interruptions in training so I can get where I should be.
So with all the off the mat stuff in mind, lets take a look at the goals I set for 2009 and assess where I have made progress and where I have not. My comments as of now are in blue following the asterisks.
- Become a better BJJ player (Easy one eh?) *I think I did this one despite the odds
- Train more consistently *This one was impossible because of all my medical drama
- Attend minimum of 3 classes/week *As was this one
- Attend Open Mat more frequently (it rocks) *I did attend more sessions when I could
- Improve my guard game *This I fear was a point of regression
- Make the Triangle my go-to submission *Also one I was unable to work on
- Improve my conditioning *After 6 months off the mats and then 6 months of work; I feel that I am now better than ever
- Fitness kickboxing classes *I did a ton of these to recover and rebuild my cardio. It worked
- More cycling (Mountain / Road) *Only made it on a few road rides and NO mountain rides
- • Keep my head in the “right” place *I think the time off helped my mental game. I don’t freeze nearly as bad anymore.
- Get more photos during training *Not a single one
- Write more *I did write more, most though was chronicling my heart condition and surgery
- Continue to Work on my Guard
- Work Hard Enough to Deserve Promotions
- Third Stripe
- Forth Stripe
- Blue Belt
- Train BJJ 3 Times/week (Minimum of 156 Sessions in 2010)
- Strength and Conditioning 4 Times / Week (Minimum of 208 Sessions in 2010)
- Visit and Train at 4 Other BJJ Schools
- Write More; 2 Posts / Week (Minimum of 104 Posts in 2010)
Now, keep me honest community. Hold me to the fire and help me attain these goals, help me to grow as a BJJ player and help me to grow this fantastic endeavor that has us all in its spell.
*PS: My original Professor, Kazeka Muniz is opening a new gym in Palmdale and I have left Fight Factory to train with him. The new facility will be as amazing as his instruction. So, if you ever find yourself in Palmdale California, stop by Premium Fitness and take a look.