Thursday, May 8, 2014

Life Off the Mats

If I'm being honest, I've cut back my training lately. Cutting back for me means something like training 4-5 days on, with a day, or sometimes 2 consecutive days off.

I haven't been strict about my diet or even making the most of training time. I'm in class, I'm paying attention, but emotionally, I'm just at a plateau with Jiu-Jitsu. I feel there is so much depth to the application of even a very small set of moves in my passing or sweeping game, and yet, this maddening frustration at how disconnected my game feels as of late. I haven't been strict about waking up to train in the mornings before work whereas in the past I always found time to do so at least once or twice a week.

A nagging hip flexor injury, followed by getting sick, then a shoulder injury have all kept me from hitting a stride in training and overall, just a serious plateau. My game felt disconnected, forced, and ultimately ineffective in general while rolling. Moreso than those things, there's just a sense of ennui currently that I feel.

I've been keeping a close eye on a white belt on my team and working with them whenever they're at the gym. It's helped me get out of myself and focus on something other than what feels like a stagnant phase in my game. I hit the wall hard.
After grinding it out for quite awhile, it's pleasant to sometimes skip the gym and see a movie with  my girlfriend or go out to dinner.

For a number of years, virtually nothing came between training and I.
It was all encompassing and the single most important thing I looked forward to each day. Stagnant or not, I was grinding.

Call it what you will, but after fighting in MMA, overcoming ACL reconstruction, accepting I'm likely done competing in Judo due to the new rules, and just an overall plateau and sense of diminishing returns, it was time to just have/make Jiu-Jitsu as a small part of my life, as a hobby, the way a lot of people do. I'm waiting and will be ready when the fire returns, but right now, it's not the smoldering inferno it has been for the past 4-5 years when I moved from focusing on Judo and Muay Thai to really wanting to get good at Jiu-Jitsu.

Jiu-Jitsu is the most addictive hobby/pursuit I've ever encountered and that will return, but for now, I'm just acting like a normal person and it's a hobby.

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