Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jiu Jitsu bliss and new gis

I had a great night on the mats.  We were working "De La Riva" sweeps.  Not the easiest thing for short legs, but with encouragement from coach and a good training partner we figured out how to make it work.  It's exciting when things just come together.  Then during rolling I had some moments of pure bliss.  Not that I was a beast on the mats or anything, just an old lady holding her own with a blue belt teenager...pretty sweet feeling.  I am blessed with some pretty awesome training partners and one heck of a coach. 

On another note, a few more pounds and I will most likely be able to order me a new Fenom gi.  If the family needs any ideas for a Christmas present for dear old Mom, this is it!  Size A2 please.  If you're curious, there's a link to Fenom Kimonos below.  Bar none, the best fitting gi for this girl's body type and they are beautiful, exceptional quality and they can take a beating on the mats. 

p.s. Julia, your gis have served me well and I am going to keep wearing them until they are completely worn out!!  It just feels good to see the pants getting looser and looser.  Jiu-Jiu is a fellow blogger who bequeathed me her many gis after they became too big for her.  Way to go Julia!  Check out her blog here.   :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

The path not taken?

Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you’d taken a different path?  What if you hadn’t accepted that first date from your husband/wife?  What if you had gotten your degree or not gotten your degree?  What if you had never tried jiu jitsu?  I think about those things sometimes.  Sometimes I wish I could go talk to my younger self.  Mostly I’d tell her to finish school, don’t become a slave to money, and do what your heart loves and the money will follow.  One day, I think I shall make a big change, a change that will shock most people.  There are things that my heart longs to be doing and they do not involve sitting in a windowless box all day working for “the man”.  I also think about what it would be like if I had never stepped on the mats.  What if I hadn’t taken that giant leap of faith?  What if I hadn’t fallen utterly and completely in love?  That’s one thing in my life that I never, ever, ever will regret.  This journey that I’m on, whether I chose it or it chose me, or we were just meant to be, regardless, I am glad that this is the path that I am on, I truly feel like I’m living the dream.  Plus, I’ve got to brag, I’ve got a husband who supports the dream.  He doesn’t want to train, but he doesn’t discourage me or hinder me or stop me from doing what I love.  I come home battered and bruised and sore and stiff and he doesn’t complain.  If I want to go to a seminar, he says “how much?” and “when is it?”  Not so he can be nosey, but mostly so he can pay for it if he’s got some extra dinero lying around!  That, my friends, is a true-blue jiu jitsu husband.  That’s another path I would not change for anything.  Plus, that path gave birth to the Tasmanian Devil Girl…and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the whole wide world! ;)

There’s nothing better than a weekend filled with jiu jitsu.  Here’s what I’ve got planned for Saturday and Sunday!!  :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The evolution of Tasmanian Devil Girl

I rolled with my 16-year old daughter last night.  She got very frustrated at one point.  I had her in side control, heavy side control.  She wanted to just give up.  She said, you weigh 50 pounds more than me, I corrected her, less than 40 pounds now! :)  Anyway, it was the first time in a while I had seen her get that ‘I’m frustrated so I’m going to just give up’ look on her face.  For once, her speed and youth couldn’t get her out of the situation.  She was stuck (mostly mentally, not physically).  So we stopped for a minute and reversed roles, I told her to get as heavy as she possibly could and I tried to show her a couple of ways to defend, make space, and get in a better position.  She tried, but I think she was still a little bit discouraged.  I know how she feels.  That was me for the last two years.  Forever stuck on bottom.  Not a bad place to learn though.  It taught me to stay calm, breath, and find space.  I’ve spent countless hours being on bottom in someone’s mount or in someone’s side control.  I’ve learned that I can escape from those positions and create a better position for myself.  I think what my daughter is feeling is growing pains.  She’s not a kid anymore.  She’s not rolling with kids anymore.  These are all adults.  She’s admitted that she’s feeling the effects of my improved game (*big smile*) too.  It’s time for her to take her game to another level.  I for one can’t wait to watch her grow and progress.  I’ve always felt that she has it within her to be an awesome jiu jitsu practitioner.  I’ve tried to encourage her to open up her mind and give in to our coach’s teaching style.  Just give in to it.  Let it take over.  Believe in the process.  Even in those moments when your head is telling you that it doesn’t think you can do something, listen to your heart, do it anyway, maybe not perfectly, but do it anyway.  And keep doing it, until it starts to feel more natural.  In the meantime, I will keep waiting and watching and learning, and one day real soon, I know that when I have her in side control, I won’t be able to keep her there, she will have realized her true potential, and once again I will fear the “Tasmanian Devil Girl”. 
p.s. In case you were wondering, the Turkey Fit Challenge was a huge success.  I lost almost 9 pounds, decreased my body fat percentage by over 4 percent and shaved a few seconds off my workout challenge time.  I am very pleased with the results.  If I’m feeling brave, I will post the before and after pictures and stats.  What I learned from this whole experience is that I know what to do to keep the momentum going…clean diet and continue to get on the mats at least 4 days a week.  I’m setting a short term goal for myself, in the next six months I want to be able to fall into the Women’s Middle weight division (according to the IBJJF weight charts).  I am confident that I can reach that goal!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Paleo Thanksgiving and Jiu Jitsu Ramblings

The Turkey Fit Challenge that I have been doing at my gym will end on Sunday.  Honestly, I think I’ve done pretty well.  I got over my fears and let myself be weighed, body fat percentages were calculated and yes, even photos were taken.  These last two weeks I’ve been really pushing myself, on the mats and trying to stay true to the Paleo diet.  It’s been hard at times, but I’m pleased with my progress.  It’s not going to end with the challenge though.  I’m committed to the Paleo lifestyle and slowly I am bringing my family around to the benefits of eating this way.  Most of you know that I had a major addiction to Dr. Pepper.  Well, I am proud to report that I have not had a Dr. Pepper since July 8th.  That’s four months and 7 days people.  And sometime in the last couple of weeks I realized…I am not craving them anymore…don’t even want one…WOW…I didn’t think that would ever happen for me.  Thanksgiving is next week and my Mom started a tradition where all the granddaughters come over and help her cook the meal.  I had decided I wanted to make a couple of Paleo friendly dishes so I sent her a message and to my surprise, she had already thought of that…I’ve got the best Mom ever!  I am going to try my hand at a Paleo pumpkin pie since I have a hankering for a sweet treat. 
Jiu Jitsu Ramblings: Since I’ve discovered that my Jiu jitsu brain has been unlocked and opened…my mind is blown!  I am starting to see things in a different way.  Movements are making sense.  Technique that I thought was out of my reach, well, it’s definitely within the realm of possibilities now.  Armbars and triangles, looking for them now, seeing them sometimes when before I didn’t know they were right there in front of me…now that makes me smile.    So, to everyone out there training, to all the newbies and late bloomers, don’t give up, it gets better, it gets a lot better.  Put in your time on the mats.  Work hard.  Let go of your fear.  It will all come in its proper time!  :)