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.


Progress Report

On Friday I did 20 pushups in a row which is pretty crazy since I didn’t know I could do more than 10 and wasn’t super sure I could even do 10 without being in pain later. But I did it! And Im still sore!

My goal for the past month or so was to start running again, but to be honest I didn’t run even once. In jujitsu we run in circles to warm up so actually I run for a total of about 5 minutes per week so I think thats good enough. My goal is to run a 5k in under 30 minutes. If I can do that, then I will be able to get more out of jujitsu classes too, so its a win-win.

I have been taking time off from climbing for a few months now, and I think I accomplished what I needed to on that front. Climbing was hard on my shoulder but now that I can do pushups and all I think I’m almost ready to get back to it. Im excited for that, but also nervous. Thats because I’m moving, and so Im going to start bouldering after I move and I intend on somehow making friends that way. I figure worst case I get really good at bouldering if I can’t make friends…

Back again

Yesterday I climbed for the first time since I sprained my shoulder. Talk about a great
feeling. I was nervous because not only was it my first test to see that my shoulder actually healed enough, but also it was one of those weird climbing dates.


My Halloween face

I had met the guy last week at a Halloween party. I had gone as a skeleton, so he saw my face, but not really, and so I was all nervous that he wouldn’t like my face. I have a fairly standard face.

First climb of the day was a 5.8 and it felt like a piece of cake. It was a bit soft for an 8, but I was surprised. My shoulder worked!! After a couple routes on TR we did a little lead climbing. Since I was climbing 5.8s and 5.9s I felt pretty good. But there was this 10 that looked so fun. Unfortunately I have become weak as hell and couldn’t clip a draw under an overhang. The worst part is I was a huge baby about it. I tried a few times, but I just wasn’t strong enough, and I knew I had to fall, but I freaked out a bit first. I wasn’t even that far past my last draw but I hadn’t fallen in forever! Naturally, I fell and it was fine. But then for my next climb I had terrible lead head. I pulled through, not because I wanted to, but because I had to make this guy believe I wasn’t a complete baby.

Needless to say, I don’t think the date part went well, but at least I’m climbing again. I missed it too much. Even inside it felt fantastic. So now I’m back in all my sports! I have gone to jujitsu a couple times, and I ran a mile a few days ago. Shoulder is definitely still super sensitive, but its a good start!

Beginning Running with ADHD

Recently I was speaking to a friend about running, and the fact that I plan to do a couple races came up. He told me that he does not care much for races, and this made me question myself a bit. Of course I know I’m not doing it to show off; I can barely run a 10 minute mile. And so I thought about it, and I remembered why I have that focus on races. I use races as a short-term end goal.

I was diagnosed with ADHD around 8 months ago, so I am very much still learning how I can improve myself. One thing I have always had a hard time with was sticking with things. I will start projects and maybe they will get finished eventually. A few weeks ago I finished sewing the boxer shorts I had started making last December. Even projects that seem short are difficult for me to finish. I just forget about whatever I was working on.

Long term goals are even more difficult in this respect. For example, I have been trying to learn Korean for about 4 years now, and I’m still terrible at it because unless I have a class with homework to turn in, it’s incredibly difficult to find the motivation to study. I think one of the reasons for this is that there are no obvious milestones in learning a language. The end goal is to become fluent, but it’s difficult to break that into smaller tasks. Running is like that too. The end goal is to have a healthy heart and lungs. There are some milestones, like running a mile within a certain time, or being able to run a specific distance.

I find that races work as great short-term goals. I need to register for them well ahead of time, so that I don’t feel like I can simply not go to the race, and I need them to be near enough into the future that I don’t feel like I can put off training for it. Races are like an evaluation. Sure, I suppose I could just time myself, but I will just end up putting it off because I’m tired or it’s too hot out or whatever other excuse I can think of. Races are great because they are on a specific date, and even if you don’t reach your goal time, you still know you pushed yourself. If I were timing myself, I would end up running a mile before deciding I’m too tired today and I will try again in a few days. Then it will never get done. The race makes me accountable.

Also, I don’t know if this is terribly weird, but I love finisher medals. They give me a sense of reward. For whatever reason, I can’t be satisfied just by meeting my goal. I also want a medal. So I have a few races with medals lined up for the coming months, then in December I am doing a race that does not give out a medal, but that race is a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, so I am running to raise funds. If you wish to donate to the cause, please click here. I have a ridiculously high fundraising goal of $500, and so far I have only raised the $35 that I donated, so any donations would be appreciated. My hope is that with the research funded by this race and others like it, a cure for arthritis can eventually be found, or at least a way to ease the pain.

Friends are Friends, Not Foes

I am fairly embarrassed about my athletic ability. Almost all of my friends are athletic, and I’m involved in climbing and martial arts. Sometimes I even manage to fool myself into thinking I can be good at sports. It’s a lie though. I am pretty slow to progress at any sports. I started running maybe a month or two ago and yet I am still struggling to run over a mile.

I have this roommate though that is very athletic, which is interesting, because looking at him, he seems about average, but he bikes and rows and climbs and crushes. So the other day he went on a run with me. He wants to try doing a triathlon for whatever reason. I told him before going on the run that I am a terrible runner blah blah blah, but I don’t think he understood, because this kid starts running at about an 8 min/mile pace, while I am struggling to finish a mile in under 10 minutes. I’ve always performed better with friends, because it gives me a bit more willingness to push myself. I see my friend doing well and I want to do anything I can to keep up. But damn. This kid has these long legs and he seems to be taking only a single step for every two I take.

After about a mile I gave in and took a rest, then after that we took about 4 more rests throughout the second mile. I was so embarrassed! He is my roommate, so he knows that I go out and run all the time, yet I am so clearly aboard the struggle bus! At one of the rest stops I started making excuses for myself and apologizing. “I’m not very athletic,” I told him. Boy, was I surprised when his response was that we are going to make me athletic. When we got home he told me he wants to run with me every day. That was nice to hear. If he can believe in me, so can I.

Yesterday he brought me to the gym and taught me how to row, and today my back is sore in the most satisfying way. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Rowing is something I will definitely do as a workout in the future. Because I had shoulder surgery last year, I had to concentrate quite a bit to be sure I was engaging the correct muscles. I really liked that about it. I’m still afraid to do a lot of things that involve arms, but as long as I stayed focused it didn’t hurt to row outside of the normal fatigue of my muscles. I loved the feeling of my muscles growing tired without any intense pain. Still I was nervous that my shoulder would be irritated today, but I feel fantastic. My back is nice and sore, giving me hope that eventually my shoulder may actually feel decent.

First Hints of Progress

Progress is cool, and I’m finally seeing progress in my running. Sometimes its difficult, because when I look at the graphs regarding my runs, its obvious that my pace has gone down. But then I have to remember that those runs where I went pretty fast were really short. Less than half a mile short. Yesterday I managed to run 1.8 miles with a pace only slightly slower than 10 min/mi. For me that is damn good.

As I’ve been trying to increase my distance I have had a hard time with matching distance and pace. I had always run a bit faster (for me) because in the past I ran with friends and they ran fast, but recently I discovered the shocking fact that if I slow down I can go farther. But now I always run slow! I’m trying hard to start picking up the pace again. I’m also getting far more used to running on my own. I don’t think I had ever run alone until about a month ago, and I was quite anxious about it. I don’t run as fast when I am alone, nor do I run as far. I like having someone there to push me. Now I have to push myself, and that makes me a bit nervous.

My summer goal is to run a 5k in August. I had originally planned to have a goal of finishing in under 28 minutes, but now even my goal of under 30 minutes seems daunting. I haven’t signed up for the race yet because I am afraid to disappoint myself. It would be my first race alone, so I would have to choose my own pace and encourage myself. I’m not sure I’m ready for it, but part of me wants to go ahead and sign up so that I am forced to train, knowing that I have to push harder because I know I can do this. I know I can do it because I have done it before. The only difference is that now I will have to do it alone.

I haven’t climbed in weeks

I’m a bit bummed to be home this weekend. It feels like I haven’t climbed in ages! Since I have to pay for the gym I haven’t gone, and no one’s been free to join me outside the past few weeks. But I have been running a bit. It is kind of funny. I keep running, and I’m starting to get a little better at it, but then I remember I’m still a horrible runner. I am glad to see progress though.

I switched from Strava to RunKeeper because I like the training plans on RunKeeper. Today I did my third training session and ran a 1.98 mile run in 22 minutes. That was a 1.5 mile run with a 5 minute warm up. Not bad for me! There is a 5k I want to do in August and I would love to run it in 30 minutes or less. We will see. If not, I will want to do the Jingle Bell Run in under 30 minutes for sure! If you want to send some greatly appreciated encouragement my way, consider donating to my run fundraiser! The proceeds are going to the arthritis foundation. I have had arthritis for two years now and I’m finally getting strong enough that it doesn’t hurt so much to run. It’s pretty exciting!

Here is a link to my fundraising page: www.jbr.org/columbus/taylor


In other news, I just got an Apple Watch so I am pretty stoked on that. I’m gonna get to know all about how my heart beats while I run 🙂