All posts by Julia

BJJ: Self Defense without the Nut Shots

The first time I mentioned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on this blog in 2015, I said that I was looking to acquire some skills as a newly single woman and “learning to grapple and defend myself in awkward situations seemed like an excellent choice.” What I didn’t mention was what prompted me to finally act on my thought.

Continue reading BJJ: Self Defense without the Nut Shots

SoML: Scars

When I talked about breaking my leg, I eluded to being very sensitive. When I woke up from my 1st surgery, my body was screaming from the intrusion and the normal, cautious increases in dosage dictated by protocol took two days to reach a level and combination that finally controlled my pain. I actually had someone ask me if I abused painkillers – he had in the past but the cocktail I was on after surgery still would have put him on his ass.

It isn’t that I have a high drug tolerance or that I’m “sensitive to pain” – it’s that I feel everything, for better or worse. In the ambulance on the way to the ER, I felt the coolness of the saline flush in my IV. The EMT was astonished because he’d never had anyone notice it before. I had a second surgery in December because I could feel the plate and 7 screws in my leg, despite reassurances from friends that they barely ever noticed their metal implants. Continue reading SoML: Scars

SoML: Odd One

I’ve had anthems of strength, empowerment, defiance and even a little sugary pop. But what about a song for the awkward, the misfits, the outcasts? Enter Odd One…

Odd one, I wish I was you

You’re never concerned with acceptance
We are all desperately seeking out
And fitting in with anyone who will accept us
But not you, odd one

Continue reading SoML: Odd One

The Skinny on My Healthy Body

Body image has been on my mind a lot lately. Between my brief return to dating, recovering from my broken leg, I have spent a lot of time (unintentionally or not) thinking about my body and how it is perceived.

My struggle with body image is not typical. To give you an idea of where I’m coming from, I’ll give  a little history – I will try to keep it brief. Continue reading The Skinny on My Healthy Body

BJJ: Soaking Up Recovery Time

Last year, a new business opened up nearby: Float Harder Relaxation Center. You float in a room or pod with enormous amounts of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) dissolved in the water. The concentration is so strong that even those with “negative buoyancy” like myself supposedly can’t help but float. There is also an added a sensory deprivation element as you relax in peaceful quiet and dim lighting. (Stranger Things fans, this is a ritzy version of the swimming pool that the gang set up for Eleven. Except you won’t be searching the Upside Down for missing people and scary creatures.) It was an instant hit with some of the guys at the Academy. They would go while were training extra hard to prep for an event or tournament. I’d only just heard that floating was a “thing” when a friend across the country raved about it. It’s getting very popular and, if you practice BJJ, anything that promotes recovery time is bound to get your attention.

But if you don’t have $65 to plunk down for one session of specialty relaxation… how about a couple of bucks and a bathtub?

To quote Cole: “Epsom Soaks are my jam.

Legs in a tub w/red mood lighting

Continue reading BJJ: Soaking Up Recovery Time

BJJ: It’s Good to be Bruised

On Labor Day, I finally got back on the mats. A mere seven months and three days after my surgery but who’s counting… who are we kidding, I was counting. I was probably driving people nuts with my Facebook posts and comments about how I missed it and how I’d be back “soon!” Six months of healing, one month of constant business trips, and one major move later, words finally became action. I walked into the Academy with a smile on my face and a gi in my bag. Continue reading BJJ: It’s Good to be Bruised

SoML: Windows Down, Volume UP

Lately I’ve caught myself spending too much time with the windows of my car rolled up and my stereo off or at a modest volume. Jamming out in the car was a piece of myself that I recaptured last summer. I’d gotten used to keeping the windows up to filter the air and keep the temperature at a set level. I sang along with the radio at a reasonable volume. Sounds like a simple, normal adult thing, right? But it isn’t my normal and it should never have become that way. Continue reading SoML: Windows Down, Volume UP

Operation: You Can’t Go Home (Nomad Edition)

I’ve moved 3 times since leaving the “house formerly known as home” – a way stop at my parents’ for 3 weeks until I moved into the snowbird’s for 5 months and  then back to my parents’ for (hopefully only) 5 months. Moving 3 times within 6 months to places where I can only have a subset of my “stuff” has taught me a few things. Continue reading Operation: You Can’t Go Home (Nomad Edition)

My 1st Tattoo: I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

Even before I turned 18, I’ve had the rough idea of a tattoo in my head that hadn’t quite formed into a design. With my 36th birthday in the not-too-distant future, I can honestly say that today was 18 years in the making. (I think that might be some sort of record for analysis-paralysis.) Continue reading My 1st Tattoo: I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

BJJ students lined up for the Shark Tank

BJJ: The Friendliest Shark Tank Around

In late April I finally made it to the gym to watch testing for the first time. The format was simple and I suspect it’s pretty universal among BJJ gyms.* The trainers sit at the front of the room and ask people to demonstrate techniques on the curriculum. Describing the reasons for the test and the focus for each belt color may not be standard but as a newbie, I appreciated it.  I doubt Jay’s brand of commentary is considered par for the course, but it would have felt like I was in the wrong place without it.

BJJ Stripe Test
Jay and Eli providing direction and color commentary

Continue reading BJJ: The Friendliest Shark Tank Around