Thursday, May 26, 2011

Flying, fitness, and food

Not-work has been excellent the last few months, especially regarding exercise. Except biking. I've slacked in biking. Gotta fix that.

But I have a good reason that I haven't biked as much. Several, in fact.

I've attended every possible jujitsu practice save one when I was sick in early February. I spent most of the semester teaching lower belts the basics. As the end of the semester approached, I asked J-man (aka sensei) if I should test for green tip or green belt. He confidently said green belt. Green is the last step below brown and the first color that the home dojo recognizes. I wasn't sure I was prepared for that since I'd missed so many new techniques while teaching newbs, but I trusted his judgement.

My fellow (former) blue belts and I practiced a bunch to prepare for the belt test. Green is a rough test. Suffice it to say that I had a lot of weight driving me into the ground and flew through the air somewhere between waist and chest level. All that practice ended in a sprained ankle right before the test. I hopped up on only my left foot after my first few landings. Sensei asked if I was okay and I said, "I'll be fine." No way am I giving up on the test for a sore ankle!

After a few more landings he stopped me from receiving throws and only had me demonstrate that I could execute the techniques. Our work and perseverance paid off and we all passed. Unfortunately I have to cut out parts of my training for a month or so until the ankle fully heals. Rest assured, I have plenty to work on that don't stress my ankle.

I've also started a new exercise routine outside jujitsu. J-man introduced me to an excellent sports trainer in a city a couple of hours away. Every four to six weeks the trainer gives me a new workout routine geared specifically toward my physical imbalances and goals. For example, my lower back and shoulders are exceptionally flexible. While that is not a bad thing in itself, it leaves me more vulnerable to instability in those areas. The trainer gives me exercises to correct for that. The workouts are challenging and very doable. I can feel and see the results, which is satisfying and a nice change from the murky path of research. I never thought I'd like working out at a gym.

Among other things I never expected is J-man, of course. We've been dating for about six and a half months and it has been so good for me. Not only has he supported me through professional and personal struggles and gotten me to work out regularly, but he can cook! And I mean well. Pasta primavera, pad Thai, pork loin--all of it has been tasty. He roasts coffee, grinds flour, makes yogurt, and bakes fresh bread. The only thing he doesn't do is rhubarb, but I'm working on that ;). He recently admitted that rhubarb crisp is tasty.

In light of that delicious thought, I'm off to the gym. Food tastes so much better when I'm ravenous after a good workout. That wouldn't skew my opinion of J-man's cooking prowess, would it?

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