Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rock On!!

I have an acupuncture session after work and then I will be training jiu jitsu this evening…it’s going to be a good night!  I finally got back on the mats Monday after two weeks of being sick and it felt pretty amazing.  I baby-stepped through a real phobia (backwards rolls) and I actually did some live rolling.  I felt encouraged and supported by my coaches and my teammates.  It was one of those nights…a reaffirmation of why I love the sport.  It’s not in the submissions or the chokes or how much you dominated on the mats…it’s about that family of people who believe in you and encourage you and push you to be the very best you can be.  That’s what keeps me coming back for more.  I am slowly coming to a place where I can accept my limitations, and I realize that it is okay to walk as slow as I need to through this journey.  My progress might be slow, but it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t meant to do this sport.  I’ve seen several posts lately where people in their 60’s and 70’s have gotten their black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  It reinforces what I have felt all along…I CAN DO THIS!  It is never too late!  You are never too old!!  Go here and read this article…Old Guys Rule.   This is for all you guys and gals out there who started later in life and are still rocking the mats after 40…ROCK ON!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Family Dinners and Juicers and Weight Loss Woes

Still sick.  No training for me or my kids this week.  I'm getting antsy to get back on the mats, but I feel so horrible it would be no use.  A few more days of rest should do the trick.  The silver lining to all this sickness, I actually came home from work and cooked dinner for my family.  Then we all sat down together and ate and talked.  It was a nice change from our usual rushed routine.  

Just finished watching a really cool documentary on Netflix called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead".  It was eye opening and inspiring.  You can check out their website at for more information and to watch a trailer to the movie.  I'm going to seriously contemplate buying a juicer.  Anyone have any experience in this area?  It sounds like just the thing I need to kick-start my weight loss again.  I really need something to get me over this hump. 

I've been tracking my weight, day and night.  No fun.  I was really against weighing myself at night...I never did that before...but I'm doing it to humor my coach.  I will admit though, a pattern has emerged.  Being sick has sort of derailed my training and cardio for the past two weeks.  Hoping to get back at it next week.  Another week of tracking and I should be ready to report back to my coach.  
My weight loss (or lack thereof) has been a sore spot for me these last few months.  I always saw steady results or at least no gain when I did cardio kickboxing, but when I shifted over to only jiu jitsu it hasn't had the same result.  My body can't take training jiu jitsu five days a week like it could cardio kickboxing.  I'm having trouble finding the time for any extra cardio.  I've been doing a little bit at lunch...15 minutes or so, but that is not enough.  I need a good, continuous 45 minutes to make a difference.  Plus, I'm the sort of gal that really needs a coach yelling at me and kicking my butt to exercise.  I'm open to ideas here too.

Friday, February 10, 2012

10 Things a Jiu Jitsu Girl Wants for Valentine's Day

Mrs. Ibarra’s top 10 things a jiu jitsu girl wants for Valentine’s Day:
1.   A private lesson with her favorite instructor.
2.   A cool new rash guard (can be in a girly color, except baby pink...check out BudoVideos, they've got a great selection of everything jiu jitsu or look for a good deal of the day at MMAHQ or BJJHQ, I just got the Scramble 3/4" sleeve rash guard for almost half the regular price).
3.   A cool new jiu jitsu t-shirt (check out Prana Kimonos and CTRL Industries and Fenom Kimonos...these are some of my favorite jiu jitsu t-shirts).
4.   A one month membership to your local CrossFit gym.
5.   A family membership to the local YMCA (where you can take cardio kickboxing classes).
6.   A deluxe spa pedicure (because let’s face it, jiu jitsu is very hard on a girls feet).
7.   A one hour massage (not from the significant other, but from a real massage therapist).
8.   A session with your acupuncturist (this isn’t for everyone, but my idea of heaven).
9.   Entry fee paid to your next grappling or jiu jitsu tournament.
I will take any of the above on any given day, but heck, what better way to show your love than getting your valentine a really cool gift.  I’m just like the next girl, I love flowers (daisies, not roses) and romantic dinners, and chocolate (good grief, do I love chocolate), but sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants…today I want cool jiu jitsu stuff. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Good Communication and Belts

Last night I wasn’t feeling so great and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to train jiu jitsu.  When I got home from work, my daughter was already dressed and she was ready to go.  So I did that thing that I rarely do, I took her to class and sat on the sidelines.  Not for long, ended up having an amazing talk with one of my coaches while she did class.  I didn’t know how therapeutic it would be just to talk about things that were bothering me, share my frustrations and worries and disappointments (with jiu jitsu, with my weight loss, with my physical limitations).  It was freeing.  I felt like a weight was lifted.  Good communication really is the key to success.  If I don’t tell my coaches what I need and what I want, how can they help me reach my goals?  It was a productive talk.  Felt like I came away with a plan.  I’m going to communicate with the rest of my coaches.  I’m going to track my weight (morning and night).  I’m going to only train 2-3 days a week.  I’m going to do 2 days of cardio (on my off days from jiu jitsu).  I’m going to work on getting my neck procedure done so I’m not dealing with all this physical pain.  I’m going to check back with my coach in a couple of weeks to see how it’s going.  These are things that I can do.  I’m ready. 

One of the other things that came from this talk was a real open, honest dialogue about belts and belt rank.  It seems like everyone has been talking about it and blogging about it lately.  Everyone has their own opinion about it.  Some I agree with and some I don’t.  For me, in the simplest terms -- 

My belt is a piece of cloth.  It is white with three stripes.  I earned those stripes by going to two belt tests.  When I am ready I will belt test again.  It will be the right time for me.  I cannot compare my belt to the person next to me in line.  Their belt is between them and their coach, just like mine is.  It is special and important and valuable to me on many levels.  My belt is a physical affirmation of my progress in the sport of jiu jitsu.  It is between me and my coaches. 

On Jiu-Jiu's BJJ Blog she recently posted something that intrigued came from her recent discussions with Ray Elbe.  Check it out here.  She says, One thing I hadn’t really considered – when you give someone a belt, you’re passing on YOUR lineage.”  It really got me to thinking about what a gift and an honor it is to get a new belt in jiu jitsu.  I hope that when the day finally comes, that I will be able to live up to the standards that all of that implies.  I hope that I will make them proud.  I believe that I will be ready, because they will know that I am ready.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lunchtime Mini-Workout - Week 1 Progress Report

Monday I started my lunchtime mini-workouts.  Today made four days in a row at 15 minutes each day.  I’ve been cranking out pushups and crunches and loads of different exercises with the resistance band.  Today I added squats (thanks MMA Lady for reminding me about those, easy and don’t require a lot of space).  I have been working continuously throughout the workday with the hand grips and the hand therapy balls.  Proud to report that I hit 100 pushups (modified) and 100 squats today.  I’m hitting about 25 to 50 reps with the resistance band for each different exercise I do with it.  Not too shabby.  I’m trying to increase my reps each day until I hit my threshold.  I must confess that today I almost listened to that little voice and skipped, but I pushed through and did it anyway.  I am so glad that I did.  Tomorrow I have a work lunch, so I don’t think I will be able to do them, just the hand exercises (maybe I can sneak in some squats while standing at my desk).