So first let me start this post by apologizing for the ridiculously long amount of time I spent not blogging. Last you heard from me I had just found out I had a herniated disc in my back and I had to stop training. I basically took the summer off, went to PT, did a lot of walking and am happy to report that I am not feeling symptoms from the disc.
I went back to training at the end of the summer. For the first couple of weeks I was so happy to be back that I was in total euphoria. I decided I would be smart when getting back to it and just drilled the first couple of weeks and didn’t go everyday. I gradually started adding some rolling in and although my ego was taking a beating, I wasn’t having any back/leg pain which I was quite happy about.
My training when I got back was very different than before I got injured. I had to take time off entirely from jits which meant I had to give up teaching the women’s class as well. This was a very hard decision for me because I knew that would mean the class would end but I was in rough shape and I couldn’t do it anymore. Because there was no longer a women’s class, we also were not able to host the women’s open mats we’d been having once a month. That was also really hard to let go of because we were getting great attendance and the ladies were really enjoying it. I spent a while feeling very guilty that something great was ending because of me.
When I came back to training I had the hope that eventually we could re-start the women’s programs. If not the classes (which we always had attendance problems with due to the low number of women who trained there) at least the open mats. After being back a couple of months I was told that they were going to get rid of the programs. While part of me understood this, part of me was really upset about it. I still felt as if my injury had ended something great for the female jits community in my area. I also was really bummed out that this now meant that I would get virtually no training with other women. I was having issues after my return with feeling frustrated by my lack of viable training partners at my gym. I was always the only woman who stayed for open mat after class and I was very cautious about choosing rolling partners because I was coming off an injury. This often meant that I could only get a few rolls in a class.
So with all that going on and the fact that I was no longer going to be an instructor, I started to think about what was best for me as a student. I made the very difficult decision to leave my gym. I agonized about this for a while. I did, and still do, have a lot of respect and gratitude for my instructors there. I would have never gotten as far as I have without their help and I will always be grateful for all they did for me. I talked to my instructor about my decision one day over coffee (well I had coffee, he had water) and he was very nice and understanding about it. He told me not to feel bad and that he understood and that I was always welcome to come back if it didn’t work out for me.
If you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning, you may recall that I used to train at two gyms, one during the week and one during the weekend. I gave up training at the second gym when the women’s classes started as they were taking up my Saturdays which meant I could only go to the second gym once a week (and also that I was training everyday). I had stayed in touch with the instructors there and they had a bunch of girls that trained there that I was friends with so I decided to go back to that gym for training full time.
Things have been going well at the new gym. I enjoy having girls to train with and the gym has even started hosting women’s open mats! We had our second yesterday and we had 19 women in attendance! However, I had this vision that I’d just go back to training and then everything would go back to the way it was before I got injured. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. I put on a lot of weight while being injured due to my lack of ability to do anything but eat pizza (yeah that probably wasn’t the best choice) and also the injury really took a toll on my lower body. Training has been very slow and frustrating for me. I feel like I am a new white belt all over again. I spend all my time defending and trying not to die. I feel slow, old, out of shape and stagnate. I know in my mind what I should be doing when I roll but I can’t make my body do it. More often than not, I end up leaving the gym feeling frustrated and wondering if things will ever go back to the way they were.
I’m not about to give up on jiu-jitsu though and I am not going to give up on myself. I am starting a new fitness routine this month and getting strict about diet (I’ll miss you pizza). I’m planning to compete in the NY Open in April and everything is focused toward that right now. As you can see, I am also starting to blog again. For the longest time I felt like I was out of jiu-jitsu, even after I came back to training, which is why I found it hard to blog. I am done with that though. It’s time to get back in the game!