I Really Am Fragile…

No, I didn’t break myself again!

I don’t think people really understand how easily I am broken sometimes though…

I have a pretty severe case of hypermobility in almost all of my joints – elbows being the only exceptions. This is quite hazardous for me really. It doesn’t mean that I am just “really flexible” like many seem to think.

Basically, it means that the ligaments holding my joints together are too loose. Ligaments are not meant to be stretched, but mine constantly are because of the looseness in them. Loose ligaments means that it takes VERY little pressure to sublux (minorly dislocate) my poor overworked joints. In other words, I’m a chiropractor’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, I know of no supplements or treatments that actually reverse this condition.

So I’m always having to be on guard and extremely careful when sparring. Shoot! I dislocated my hip while dodging Disneyland crowds with my small nephew on my shoulders and I’ve had my acl sprained just from a leg drag.

Injury Prevention
This is critical for me if I am to continue competing at the level that I desire to!

First: the docs have all told me the same thing. I need to strengthen all the muscles surrounding my major joints (so basically, everything!) muscles will fatigue eventually, but they can help pick up the slack from my ligaments and help stabilize my joints. Putting on muscle may put me up a weight class, but if I’m healthy, I’m down for it!

Second: regular professional care. I have regular massage bodywork done, and in addition have an amazing structural integrationist whom I see as often as possible. I also have the worlds greatest chiropractor, who happens to train as well!

Third: this may sound odd, but I stretch. A lot. But it’s very specific stretching. If I have a muscle that tends to pull more strongly on one side of a joint than the antagonists on the other side do, that’s just a recipe for disaster! So I work to keep everything as balanced as possible.

I’m gonna close with what I told my grandma when she was worrying about me getting hurt. “I may get hurt at some point. But the amount of joy and fulfillment I get out of pushing myself and learning every day… It’s worth it.”

Me Crack Head Squirrel!

I’ve had a good share of black belt rolls so far this week! I just love having access to a good number of excellent black belts where I train! They say their goal is to train me to defeat them someday.

I have been doing a lot of training lately. In my mind, this is off season – but on paper it’s another story entirely.

Rode bike 3 miles to gym
Rolled for 90 mins
Did 3 massages
Rolled/drilled for 2 hours
Did another massage
Kettlebell workout
Rode bike 3 miles to home

So yea… Guess I’m still training a lot… But it feels completely different than before. I’m having fun, and using the bike and kettlebells to build joint stability so I can handle training more.

Granted, I’m being fairly lazy today so far. No massages and no kettlebells. I did get to roll with one of our black belts this morning before class – getting much better at keeping from being smashed in half guard.

I feel bad sometimes for the guys rolling with me. I imagine it’s like having a crackhead squirrel running circles all over your body, and having to somehow catch it, without actually hurting it. Ha!

On a somber note, was talking with a friend of mine in Brazil. Prayers going out for safety and an end to corruption to the homeland of my beloved lifestyle!


New Belt and New Training

The Four Promotees!

Well, I’ve had a few days to let the promotion sink in, and I’ve come to a conclusion: It doesn’t really make a difference. No magical powers bestowed or sudden increase in technique, or any hulk-like capabilities. I still consider black belts to be magical, but blue seems to just be a matter of fact thing.

That being said, It is AWESOME! It’s nice to know that after a year and a half of butt busting, I’m no longer recognized as an entry level beginner – I’ve got a little validation in my life!

I don’t know if this free feeling I have is due to the belt, or the fact that Worlds are done and over with – and I don’t have to be too serious anymore. At any rate, I am having a blast! My first roll as a new blue belt was on Tuesday morning. I went with my white belt buddy who has a “little” bit of size/weight on me. He’s really cool to roll with though – I’m on his hit list, but he says tapping me doesn’t count if he uses muscle. Highlight of the roll was choking him with my new (still tied) belt, from side control bottom. I also got a wrist lock in there too. Thankfully he was fairly good-natured about it! He could squash me like a bug if he chose to…

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My car has been on the fritz so I have been riding my awesome pink bike to the gym in the mornings lately. It’s a nice 3 miles each way up and down hills, so I feel fairly warmed up by the time I arrive. The guys are calling it the “Pee Wee Herman” bike – and I think it looks awesome in the front office!
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Due to my doctor’s nudging, I have started a weight training routing, geared toward building muscle and stabilizing my major joints.

So far it’s working great! After just 2 weeks, I have visible biceps and no more grinding sensations in my shoulders! Yay! I’ve had chronic shoulder instability for years… amazing how easily that is resolving when I stop ignoring it.

I do gain muscle very easily so it’s very possible I may end up in the middle weight class instead of light. I’m okay with that though. If I’m feeling healthy and strong, I have no problems.

Banned From the Mats Again

X-pass count: 950

Got a good 120 reps of X-pass with Javi at 10, then got busy with sparring. Coach split us up and put Javi with another purple belt, Kenny.

8 minute rounds!

Chad brought down two of his kids to 10 am class. The older one was probably 12-13 and the younger about 8. Older kid was pretty strong and apparently unused to attacking a seated guard (butt scooters unite!). I went with the younger one next – kid is a beast! Fast and really good technique, had to really work my guard technique and not use any muscle power. Now I know how the guys feel rolling with me!

I sat a round as I was left with a newer white belt – and I’m under decree to avoid unless coach gives the okay. I snagged Beastmaster for the last round. He has been out for a few weeks, but has remained my favorite white belts to roll with. Spent most of the time working on maintaining my guard and trying to sweep.

At 11:30 I paired off with Javi again for drilling a sneaky choke from side control. It took several tries before I started to get it, then it was all good. Then roll time!

Javi is one of our most solid purple belts with a solid Judo background. I’ve learned to keep my hips forward and not lean when starting standing with him. He pulled guard and swept me after grip fighting a bit, he didn’t roll hard with me – nice and smooth. Need to work on my base when standing!

Rolled again with Beastmaster. I just went into leech mode guard on him – effective!

Sat the last round, then went off to visit the chiro.

I asked him to take a look at my left knee – it has been a bit weird feeling lately, painful with some movements. He did a few tests of my ligaments and deduced a minor sprain – probably ACL. I’ve also got all kinds of muscle binding around the knee, trying to stabilize it. He did some soft tissue work in my calf that made me laugh hysterically with tears running down my face (yes, my reaction to extreme pain is to laugh. Yes, I know I’m a freak.)

I told coach and he ordered me off the mats until at least Monday. I’m actually relieved. Yea it sucks to not roll, but even I’ll admit I “may” have overdone it a bit the last month. I believe that most injuries spring from ignoring the warning signs your body is flashing at you, and I need to practice what I preach, as a professional body worker, BEFORE I blow out my knee.

The doc told me that I need to start doing some weight training to stabilize my legs. “Your body just doesn’t meet your ambition levels yet.” So strengthen it is! Plus I booked a 2 hour roofing session for myself next thursday before my next chirp appointment. Gonna get a major reconstruction done on my legs!