Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm loving training...

I've really enjoyed training without a competition focus the last few weeks. I kid that my game is the "inverted smash"-- i.e. I'm smashing you while on the bottom, har har-- but when I'm not thinking about "beating" my opponent, it frees me up to focus on more individual elements of each roll and keeps me from getting frustrated. My big picture looks at connection, center, and hip movement, while a more specific focus is, as always, on sweeps and lately on remembering when I need the underhook and why. Last night Mike G. taught a nifty sweep from bottom half guard when you don't have the underhook that was so easy-peasy I almost peed my pants with excitement. And then this morning rolling with Jim reminded me that if I do have the underhook in bottom half guard, my first first FIRST thought has to be taking their back, not this sweep stuff. So lots to think about and lots to work on as always.

It's not been as hot lately-- 99, barely 100, and we even got a brief sprinkle yesterday. This has been a great week so far... I'm training twice, usually three times a day (if you count lunchtime crossfit as training) and Tues-Wed I was in Dallas for a hearing. Still got to train Tues morning and lunch, and Wed night class though, which was awesome. Then I took Thurs and today off, and I've been training, running errands, reading (I'm on a Vietnam war kick lately) and even considering a pedicure.

If you enjoy reading, you definitely should try "A Rumor of War" by Philip Caputo. I just finished it and "The Fall of Saigon" and now I'm working my way through a series of combat diaries. Good stuff.

Don't ask me how the weight loss competition is going, though. I think my metabolism crashdived from the "cutting weight" philosophy of eating sub-900 calories a day, so I've been trying the "6 mini meals a day/~1200 cal./day" approach. At first my body was like whoohoo-- finally the famine is over! I'm back to losing but I don't even count on having lost 10% by August 14th. We'll see.

Friday, July 24, 2009


So lately I've been sufficiently busy at work that I really don't have time for much else during the day (of course, not so busy that I can't take my lunch break at the gym.) I apologize for the stunning boredom this blog has become!

I have a hearing next week in Dallas, and our office's travel department found us rooms (at the state rate, which is fairly low) in a luxe bed & breakfast called the Mansion at Turtle Creek. One silver lining for which I am grateful. Anyway, so I leave for that next Tuesday afternoon and get back Wednesday evening.

Training is going really well. I can't point to any major breakthroughs, but I know I'm giving people a harder time, I'm incrementally improving my understanding, and I'm enjoying mat time more and more. Making time for my lunchtime conditioning classes at the other gym is really helping. I know Marcelo Garcia says to get in shape for BJJ, do BJJ, but I find that a sole diet of BJJ is too random in focus. I'm getting better arm and ab definition now, yay. I think I need to make an effort to drill techniques in class with higher belts more often. Usually I pair up with a my-level friend, but with Scott (a purple) yesterday I really appreciated some subtleties I'd never have gotten on my own.

It's been so hot here my garden is starting to look frayed. I have a gardenia standard in a large planter and it's positively fried, no matter how much I water. The planters on the deck need daily watering too, and I just haven't the energy or interest to fuss with stuff. This weekend I need to put in some quality time out there-- finish mulching the big rose bed, deadhead some things, perhaps dig up the zinnias which are looking icky. Also some shopping for a friend's wedding gift, a baby gift, and a few birthday gifts.

Which brings me to my next dilemma-- my birthday's coming up, and I am torn between staying in Austin for a friend's MMA fight, going to San Antonio for another 2 friends' fights, finding somewhere to watch UFC, or doing something entirely unrelated. I would like to have the max # of friends available but where are they all going?

OK, gotta jet to jiu jitsu. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pluggin' along...

Work's been good, busy and productive, and spent the day yesterday in a seminar about forensic interviewing. Very enjoyable way to spend a day-- watching video clips of criminals trying to lie their way through interviews/interrogations and learning about all the verbal and nonverbal clues to deception.

Jits of course is always good... missed a class here and there but I'm finally feeling acclimated to the hot weather. It's not pleasant putting on a gi that's been sitting in your 105+ car all day, but you get used to it. Our warmups have been scaled back which helps-- we run about a mile, then do bear walks/frog jumps/bunny jumps/one-legged hops and all kinds of rolls across the mat, carry or drag each other across the mat, then pushups, ab work, and stretching. Takes about 30 min and if you stand in front of one of the fans afterwards you can almost feel chilly with all the sweat you work up. I find that I'm playing a consistently defensive game with the majority of my training partners, but when I play with someone my level or lower, a more offensive side pops out. I'm also noticing that moves I'd shelved long ago are more feasible now... I never think of going for kimuras and americanas, having checked them off as too easy to muscle out of, but if my position is improving, their ability to muscle out diminishes. Yay.

Still trying to hit at least 4 of my crossfit-like classes a week. Yay. And of course still teaching salsa on Friday nights at Copa.

Looking forward next week to a visit from my girlfriend Shelley and her daughter Reagann. They're doing a driving vacation together, coming down from Little Rock and hitting Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.

Friday, July 10, 2009

-8.6 and healthy

Wheeeew, it's been so hot! 104-105 outside usually feels like a crockpot on high inside the academy.

Thursday I missed morning class because my car wouldn't start. Apparently there's a little piece of plastic under the brake pedal which turns off the brake light unless you're pressing the pedal... alas, in my wonderful little 14 year-old Acura, the piece broke and so my brake lights were on all night. My husband jumpstarted my car, and my mechanic fixed it (FOR FREE!!! so if you're in Austin and have a Japanese car, go to Dealership Alternative and tell Bill you heard about him from me.) Anyway, I took it easy during lunch crossfit, did an hour of nogi, and just couldn't bring myself to bake for another 3 hours at the night class. Instead went shopping with my husband, had sushi for dinner, and watched a movie about Jane Austen.

Today's another scorcher, high 105 again! but I will be rolling at lunch open mat and evening open mat. Nogi-- not even bringing the gi top.

I will say, I rolled with my friend Tom and almost butterfly swept him, and I was happy.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

-8 and yucky

Staying home sick today, think I ate something that disagreed with me yesterday. But before I started that whole thing, happily, I was down eight from June 12. Not the stunning progress I'd wished to be reporting, but I'm back on track with working out now so no biggie.

I did have some fun with Jordan last night, learning a nice alternative to an armbar (essentially a forearm crush-elbow-expansion sort of thing) and attempting to learn an improved scissor/push sweep from guard. That didn't work as well because while controlling one of their sleeves with both your hands, you get up on an elbow and scoot parallel to their body. I couldn't seem to master scooting on that axis-- I kept including an "away from them" vector as well, which compounded the difficulties of having short legs. It will take practice.

My whole body is sore today. My last crossfit class was unusually heavy on arm work, and I've done a lot of nogi in the last week, so I'm not surprised my arms right down to the fingertips are busted.. but what's up with my legs? If I feel better today I might get into the pool and swim a little bit.

Hope you are enjoying your summer...

Monday, July 06, 2009

Back from the Fourth..

We had a fantastic time staying at the lake with friends Jeff and Laurie. They have a 42' boat with two cabins and a nicely set-up boat slip that's like a home away from home so we just hung out, read books, ate, played in the lake, and enjoyed the company. I'll post some pics soon. We also had a nice morning with family-- we'll be having our niece Sarah stay with us for a week in August and I'm looking forward to seeing Austin through the eyes of a smart, active, fun twelve year-old.

Alas as always I ate salty foods I shouldn't have been eating so I won't post my weight-- but I know it's water weight and will go away shortly. I'm determined to get back to my old routine of morning and night jits, and lunch crossfit daily. Work is definitely keeping me busy but I have plenty of things I can bring home with me at night; I'm just starting a new pleading and that always involves a fair bit of reading at the beginning.

Our crepe myrtle out front of the house is just COVERED with lavender blooms this year... it's a full two stories tall and really looks impressive. I'm convinced it's bloomed so lushly because we're watering twice a week. The roses in the backyard are doing better this year, I'm sure because they're not shaded out by the crazy tomatoes. I am thinking about changing one of the patches of lawn into a raised bed for vegetables because I have a craving for sweet summer corn, freshly picked. Did you know that when you pick corn, the sugars immediately start turning to starch? By the time you buy it in the grocery it's already stale! And cucumbers, peppers, watermelon, squash... mmmmm. Of course I'm thinking gardening thoughts because it's cloudy and "only" going to get up to the mid-high nineties today. If it were its usual sunny and 105ish, I'd only be thinking about the books I want to read indoors.

My best friend Heather had a healthy (BIG! 9 lbs 1 oz) baby boy last week and I can't wait to see pictures of him. His name is Owen and I know big sis Hannah is excited as can be. It was a lengthy labor topped off by a C-section so Heather is going to have to take it easy for a while.

Have a good day back in the routine!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Still smashed...-4.6

I took basically this whole week off work to use up some leave that I would lose if I didn't use it, and it's been phenomenal. I would really prefer not to work, if that was possible. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but I like being a housewife too. What's not to like-- there's no kids, and no pets besides a fish, so there's virtually no dirt. We have a housekeeper once a month. I don't mind doing laundry, which is good since I go through at least a gi a day, and in this heat, I soak a gi every time I train. Granted, I haven't been doing as many 3-a-days as I used to, but still. I've been able to catch up on some pleasure reading, put time and thought into home-cooked meals, and train one-two times a day. I love it. I just wish someone would pay me to do it.

I'm enjoying training for training's-sake without pressuring myself or beating myself up when I get smashed. I wish the result would be some stunning unsmashability on my part. Alas, no. Oh well. It's a process and I'm patient.

However, still totally frustrated with the weight loss plateau even though I know exactly why it exists-- I'm only training once a day sometimes. I am going to be restrained over the holiday weekend, no pigging out on fried chicken and potato salad, and I'm only missing two days of workouts. Starting next Monday it's back to 3 a days whenever possible. I did 3 today and it was heaven.

Enjoy a safe, fun holiday weekend, ya'll!