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.
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.
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
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 instructors 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.
Jay and Eli providing direction and color commentary
Note: A briefer version of this story was going to be told on the Jay Jack Uncensored podcast when they talked about the need for gameness in women and how society typically squelched that trait. But, between my accident and the podcast’s “squirrel!” attention span for topics, I decided that I’d go ahead and publish this anyways. Maybe we’ll still go over the idea on a future JJU episode. But I needed to tell my story while the last bit was still fresh in my mind.
This all starts with a foolish summer fling in 2001. I met a guy working security at a concert, we hit off, we spent the summer having some fun together. I made it clear from the beginning that this was just going to be a summer thing, I was headed back to Ithaca in the fall for my junior year of college. I like to think that I ignored any signs that he was a little “off” because it was just a summer thing so it didn’t really matter. I wasn’t looking for a life partner. He was sweet, he was fun, and that was all that mattered at the time.
I’m a groupie and a gremmie when it comes Jiu Jitsu.
Now before you start envisioning scenes from Almost Famous or humming Gremmie Out of Control under your breath, let me explain.
A while back, I posted what has become a fairly pivotal piece for me on my dog blog, All Around Dogs. The post was entitled Embrace the Awkward and talked about the “conscious incompetence” stage of learning where things feel difficult and, well, awkward. While the post relates it to dog training, I’ve taken my own advice to heart and have tried to apply it to every area of my life. Continue reading BJJ: Embrace the Stranger
I came to a small but powerful realization today. In my last post, I lamented the end of my “First Feet” photo album entries. I had privately wondered if I could make it a tradition with the next serious guy in my life (not that I’m going there anytime soon) or if that would be too weird. I was caught up in how I started it and wasn’t thinking about how it could evolve. Continue reading On My Own Two Feet