The Long and Winding Road Back


Quick update. I’ve been away from BJJ for over half a year now, going to class a few times in between but not enough to start the momentum back up. Jiu Jitsu seems to be all about momentum. Luckily I’ve done it so long that when I do go back it’s not like I’m starting from scratch. All the instincts are there only not nearly as sharp, and my cardio is dog shit.

So now that I’m almost healed (knee is probably 97% better, still can’t contract it all the way without pressure and still gets a bit achey when overworked), and my music school has been relocated (our lease ended June 1st), I’m ready to give a serious push to going back to class and getting back on track.

You know how you’re always in a constant state of soreness when you train? Well I found that to be much more tolerable than being stagnant, and I’ve actually injured myself MORE being out of BJJ than when I trained semi-regularly. Yes while training I popped my rib out of place, had my ankles crack, suffered countless bruises and mat burns, and most recently had my knee severely twist, but I noticed that when your body’s not taking part in a regular workout routine other things slowly go wrong. It’s like when you’re training your body knows it’s in constant healing mode so things fix themselves much quicker.

While being out due to injury I bought this Segway scooter thing that you stand on and it zips you around like a hoverboard. Well as soon as MN stopped surprising us with late season blizzards I was finally able to take the thing out for a spin. So I travelled about 10 miles the first night. In order to engage the motor you have to lean slightly forward to propel yourself and to turn you use the inside of your knees. Well this was a brand new motion for my body and the next morning my lower back felt like I had been suplexed by Andre the Giant. This sharp, numbing, pain lasted about a month. In over a decade of BJJ I never felt that sort of pain in my back. Since I wasn’t in that constant healing mode that BJJ offers it took way longer to feel 100%. That freaked me out, I basically injured myself STANDING. :O

I wasn’t completely sedentary though my healing time, I try to get in the occasional workout and as soon as I was able to, I began running (up to 5 or 6 miles some nights). Knowing that I’d be returning to the mats keeps a certain fire burning that rarely lets you avoid physical activity altogether. It also became clear that without some sort of physical exertion, it’s easy to have your mindset begin to alter itself. My thinking became a bit more cloudy, it was easy to fall into lazy patterns, and my mood felt about 20% gloomier. Choking people is sure therapeutic. 😉

So starting a few days ago I began my serious road back to the mats starting with some P90X Chest and Back. Then last night I ran about 3 miles outside in the muggy summer air doing my best to avoid the frogs that like to hang out on the trails. Tonight I’ll mix in a little Insanity hoping to get through more than just the warmup and soon I hope to finish the majority of P90X and Insanity workouts without taking too many breaks. Once that’s a reality and once I can trust my body again I’ll be going back to BJJ class on the reg. I’ll keep updating this site as a form of motivation for myself and anyone else who may have taken an extended break from their chosen endeavor. Thanks for reading. -Mike