Zebra status!

Today I got a couple stripes on my white belt! Talk about a surprise!

I started doing jujitsu about four years ago, and then I started having issues with my shoulder. So I trained for a bit under a year, and then had to take time off. I got shoulder surgery and I ended up needing about 2.5 years off, because I am a slow healer or something. But I’ve been going to class again for a couple of months. I’m really surprised to get stripes because I don’t know a lot of things. I need a lot of work on sweeps and takedowns in particular. I’m still quite weak as well. Just the other day I was very proud of myself for being able to do pushups again (I only managed 8 pushups today, but I did 20 in a row recently).

After all of this time its nice to have gotten something, even if it is really just a couple pieces of tape. In a little over a month I’ll move away and have to start at another school, and its a little disappointing at this point. I’ve grown to really enjoy the people I’ve been training with, but I’m sure the next group will be great as well.

Keep on Keeping on

Getting into working out can be hard, and getting back into working out can be even harder. I’ve been working my way back into things alone since I sprained my shoulder a while back and school kept me inactive for longer than I should have been. It has been a windy road, and I don’t think it’ll straighten out any time soon.

During the time I was inactive, things were difficult. My mood was garbage, my body felt like garbage, and I lost some weight that I didn’t mean to lose. It’s hard to find the motivation to do anything when your body hurts and your mind is tired. But you have to do it. Once you do, it will get harder because you will be sore, but you have to keep going. I’m writing this now to remind myself that I need to keep going too. This battle is as much mental as it is physical, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be won.

I wish I could say that three weeks into doing jujitsu 2-3 times per week, I feel amazing, but I don’t. But I do feel better. I was afraid going to work out with a new group of people. But I think that actually helped me. Because of my shoulder injury, I had been avoiding certain exercises, but since I didn’t want these people to view me as particularly weak, I’m doing pushups with everyone else – just not as many of them. At first I was a little embarrassed. I still am very slightly embarrassed. The other day we were running to warm up and I felt terribly tired. When I looked at the clock, it told me that we were only two minutes into class.

After a few days of class I stopped pretending to be done doing warm up drills at the same time as everyone else. I’ve been making it a point not to cut corners regardless of who may see. I’ve always been worried that people will think less of me, but now I realize that if I don’t do what everyone else is doing plus some, I’ll never get through group workouts as easily as everyone else. The reason they can do it and I can’t is because they have continuously worked hard and I haven’t. And that is okay. I’m starting my hard work now.

After three weeks of doing jujitsu 2-3 times per week, I feel better. My body hurts significantly less and I’m back up to my normal weight. And with hard work, in a few more weeks I’ll be even better than I am today.

In Search of Jujitsu

Last week I had been on vacation, but now that I’m back I have been diligently working to find a place to train jujitsu. Turns out there is nothing super close to me. I actually considered going to Karate classes instead, but I couldn’t do it. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to learn Karate – I would – but I need something familiar in my life.

I found my first place to try and I was absolutely terrified. I didn’t expect to be. I have social anxiety disorder, but I thought I somehow didn’t have it anymore. I realize now that I just haven’t had to be in an unfamiliar group of people in years. Funny how that works. So my body reminded me what it means to have anxiety, and my brain reminded me to be sure to write down what I would say on the phone before I called. And then my brain reminded me that my voice sounded awfully shaky and nervous in the message, so I decided to avoid meeting that teacher any time soon. He didn’t call back, so I ended up going to a class where the teacher wouldn’t expect anyone new. Luckily, when I walked in, there was this guy looking super confused so I knew he was new too and the instructor wasn’t 100% focused on me.

I thought the hard part was over, and then this guy says there is a changing room. So I am freaking out like what do I do? Am I required to change in there or is it just in case I want to change in there? Should I want to change in there? I wore my spats under my sweatpants because of this exact situation, but I couldn’t help but think that even with the spats on I should still be in the changing room. At the same time, there was only one changing room and there was a line, and class was about to start.

I was too busy worrying about my ever so slight lateness in being ready to notice that the class didn’t bow in. I bowed to the mat in a sort of half-assed way, like I want to bow to the mats but I’m not sure if you guys do that here… turns out they don’t.

As an aside, I really like the process of bowing in and out of class. It helps me separate my personal life from my training. It reminds me to be fully present and focused. As someone with ADHD, I need every reminder I can get to stay focused.

Anyways, there was one other female person in this class, so naturally she immediately decided we were partners. I certainly didn’t mind, as the entire class seemed to be busy pretending that new people did not exist. It was strange though. We never switched partners so I really only met this one person. In a way, thats a good thing, but it also has me anxious to go back, because if I meet only one person each class, how will I ever become comfortable in the community as a whole?

I’ll go back tomorrow for a no gi class. It’ll actually be my first no gi class, so Im a bit excited. Im also nervous to meet new people again. And nervous because another school I contacted is telling me nothing about prices until I go there. That makes me not want to go there.

Jujitsu – First day back

Part of the reason I haven’t been writing is because I’ve been busy doing school, applying for jobs, and wallowing in self-pity. The reason being that as soon as I got back into sports, I sprained my shoulder. It wasn’t anything crazy. A white belt had not yet learned that people are fragile. She cried. I felt terrible. But now I’m back!

Coming back from injury is difficult. I’m terrified to work with people I don’t know, and since I’ve been out for a while thats nearly the entire class. Plus I forgot nearly everything. A girl had me in guard and we kind of got stuck there; I couldn’t even remember how to break guard! All I could think of is to shove my elbow in her thigh, but I don’t like to do that. It never really works.

It was a fun class though. We did some fairly simple drilling, I got to roll with an old friend, and I didn’t get hurt. I had missed those guys. Having them there to welcome me back makes the recovery process worth while. I can’t wait to get strong again.