I have a confession to make

I overtrain. There I said it (they first step is admitting you have a problem). I have long known that I overtrain. I have also long known that eventually this will catch up to me in the form of injury or even hating jiu-jitsu. Yet I just can’t stop doing it.

I not only overtrain, I feel anxious and incomplete if I have to miss a day. I frequently turn down invites to go out during the week if it would mean skipping class. On the rare occasions I do skip class, I feel guilty all week knowing that I am going to miss a day and when I am somewhere else at class time I inevitably wonder what they are drilling in class and feel sad. A couple of weeks ago it was my birthday. Did I go out for my birthday? Of course I did! After I trained.*

You may be asking yourself how much I train. Here is my typical week. Mondays and Wednesdays I go to the gym right after work, arriving around 5:30. I workout downstairs before class and then have class from 7-9.  Tuesdays and Thursdays I again head to the gym right from work and have class from 6-7:30. Fridays I try to take off. I don’t always succeed as we have an open mat then. Saturdays I wake up early to go to a women’s class at my weekend gym at 9. Often I stay after and roll with the purple belt instructor. Then at 11 I either take the basics class there or I head over to my regular gym for instructor training. Then at 1 I teach the women’s class at my gym. Sundays I have been getting to my weekend gym at 10 to roll with the purple belt instructor and then I stay for basics at 11 and rolling afterwards, typically leaving somewhere between 12:30 and 1:30.

Crazy I know. This week I added to this. I had been using Mondays and Wednesdays to get cardio in before the gym but now I’ve decided to add weight training to the mix and do that on M/W instead. So now I’m staying after class on Tuesdays and Thursdays for cardio.

I know that this is adding a lot of stress to my life. I am often exhausted as by the time I get home, shower and do whatever needs to be done around the house (i.e. laundry…you do a lot of laundry when you train that much), it is well after 10 before I actually eat dinner. My friends are getting frustrated with me trying to schedule time with them around training. I am neglecting other things I want to do (ex. some side web projects) and other things I have to do (ex. paying bills, cleaning). I feel like I am never home as I have to jam non-BJJ activities into what little free time I have on the weekends. It has gotten so bad that my one cat has resorted to chasing me to the door crying as I leave and will hold on to my arm for dear life if I pet her. I am the worst cat mom ever.

So knowing all this why do I keep doing it? I think there are probably several reasons. I feel like I have to get in as much time training as I can if I am going to keep up with guys. I can’t beat them at strength but I can have more technique. Also I just turned 33, I feel like my time to be competitive is limited. Unfortunately there is not a lot of opportunity for masters women to compete (I am not even going to mention the 40+ and 50+ divisions that guys get) so I have to fight the 20 year olds (sometimes 14 year olds as mentioned in this post) which is hard. However I think the biggest reason is that I just love jiu-jitsu. Someone could come up to me at work, tap me on the shoulder, say “want to roll?” and I’d bump fists and look for an empty conference room.

So I find I have a war between my head and my heart. My head is telling me I need to spend less time training but my heart is saying “NO! MORE JIU-JITSU!”. I suspect that eventually my head will win as my old lady body is not going to be able to take this abuse forever. But my heart is putting up a really good fight right now.

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7 responses to “I have a confession to make”

  1. Sarah says :

    “Someone could come up to me at work, tap me on the shoulder, say “want to roll?” and I’d bump fists and look for an empty conference room.” <– Hahahaha!! Yes!! 🙂

    Completely understand! My boss has realized that getting me to work late or go to an evening meeting is not going to happen unless its an emergency, because training comes first. My friends have realized that I'll rearrange everything else to hang – but not BJJ. Bah.

    Especially now that ALL I Have Is BJJ, and that only twice a week – I'm not giving it up for anything.

    • camamyd says :

      Yeah I am exactly the same way, I plan everything around BJJ. Luckily I have nice and supportive friends who tolerate this. Too bad Alaska is so far away, I think we’d get along very well 🙂

      • Sarah says :

        If you ever find yourself in Alaska (its flipping beautiful – worth a visit!) look me up! 😀 You’d have a bonus!roll, and I’d enjoy being crushed!

      • camamyd says :

        Likewise if you are ever in Philly (not really that beautiful but we have cheesesteaks)!

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