March 25, 2012

The 28th Year

I turned 28 at the beginning of this month and for the first time in years, I'm down to 137 lbs and fitting into clothes that I'd given up all hope on long ago. It's an amazing feeling and I'm more inspired now than ever to keep at it.

A few weeks ago, I went to Rocky's weekend conditioning class, which I normally avoid because it makes me want to throw up (a few people actually have in the past...seriously, into the trash can near the of them twice in an hour). Personally, I haven't built up the proper endurance to survive it yet and it nearly killed me. I was also thoroughly shamed at one point when we lined up for a drill that the other women (there are two ladies who come in just for the conditioning class once a week) made look so easy, and one of these chicks is a total stick. I was watching them do it and thinking to myself pfft...I'll make them look silly. But when my turn came, I couldn't do it. AT ALL. Everyone was extremely encouraging though, and I eventually made it through the class with a lot of bitching, moaning and a sacrilegious amount of swearing.

Feeling slightly less disastrous when it comes to kickboxing, although still very self-conscious about my lack of standup skills. Curly paired up with me the other day and I did end up getting the combinations down without feeling as lost as I normally do. For the first time in ages, I didn't sit anything out due to injury and was able to keep up with everyone else. I started to fall apart near the end (Christian always wraps up the last 10 minutes with a second wave of brutal conditioning work) but Curly kept yelling at me to stay with it and not give up, and I somehow made it.

Later in the week, I rolled with Krypton for the first time in a few weeks and he said he noticed a real difference. I got a great pass at one point by twisting my hips and maneuvering around the side, and I don't know which one of us was more surprised. I also did very well at holding mount and got props for landing an unexpected North South choke. At one point, Krypton used the size difference to just step over into mount, paused for a second, shook his head and went "oh that was just cheap" and then reset, which cracked me up. After six months, he's still one of my favorite people to work with. Unfortunately, I went a few rounds with The Kid next and, after wrecking him for 20 minutes, finally went easier to let him play offense. Mistake. He got overly excited about an Americana while my other arm was trapped and had apparently never heard of verbally tapping out. I had to yell it six times before he stopped, at which point I was in a lot of pain.

I decided months ago that if I stayed home every time I was hurting, I'd never get to work out, so I've been logging mat hours 4-5 times a week regardless of any injuries. I did a warmup roll a few days after The Kid tried to detach my shoulder and the jacked up arm started to feel like lead almost immediately, becoming heavy and achy before the class even began. I worked in with Jazz and Scruffy and did my best to keep up but by the time we finished, the arm was too tired to even lift a near-empty water bottle without shaking.

Had a lot of work to do this Monday so I couldn't stay for long, but I did manage to swing by and get in thirty solid minutes with Rits and Birdy. Rits has become a good friend of mine outside of the gym but in spite of talking constantly, we haven't actually trained together since I first began, so it was nice to roll with him for once. Birdy is part of Big Boy's kiddie club, so although he's strong, he's both young and less experienced, which is a combination that I don't often get. I had to keep reminding myself to play nice and let him, you know, do something instead of just submitting him again and again. I'm not going to say that it wasn't satisfying to work my offense and beat up on someone else for a change, but next time I'll aim for more of a balance and less blatant douchebaggery.

Wednesday was a great class on breaking and passing the De la Riva. Carlo yelled at me a few times to stop being so nice to Trek and to push down harder and "try to break his fucking ribs," but I otherwise did well with the moves. Of course, I strained my ass again in the process but what can you do. Rascal was in one of his moods during kickboxing last night and he completely destroyed us with conditioning work, so there was extra suffering involved. At one point, however, he did yell out encouragement that he's finally starting to notice a tricep or two. For the last part of the class, he had everyone take turns beating up one kid for his birthday, and by everyone, I mean everyone except for me because I'm still too much of a pussball to spar. Fundamentals was solid as well and I learned a few awesome sweeps with Wardog that I can't wait to try live. My left shoulder is still feeling a bit weak but much better these days, and I should be fully recovered soon enough. Can't wait to see what the next few months bring!