Review: My 2010 New Year’s Resolutions

I made resolutions last year.  If you made resolutions, post your resolution and then grade yourself!  Here is my grade break down of my adherence to the resolutions I made.

1) I won’t force myself to train through injuries or sickness.  Unless I’m feeling at least 85%, I will recuperate.

I get an A on this one.  I’m seriously proud of myself.  When injured, it takes every bit of discipline I have to not go balls to the wall even more than when I’m healthy.  I had an illness, knee injury, and tightness in my shoulder this  year, and held back pretty well.  Long enough to get back to 85% at least.

2) I will get at least two tournament victories at the Intermediate Skill level.

Solid A.  I got 6 victories at the Intermediate level.  To be clear, I don’t mean I WON 6 tournaments.  I won six matches spread among three tournaments, earning two second place finishes and one third place finish.  I still have a LOT to learn in this sport, even at the intermediate level.

3) I will get Emotional Fitness Rehabilitation (my psychotherapeutic creation) published in an academic journal.

C. This goal wasn’t completely neglected, just put on the back burner a little.  We are submitting the final version to a journal sometime in January.  Whether or not it becomes accepted is another story.

4) Same as last year, I will reserve Friday nights for my beautiful wife.

I get a B here.  Most Fridays have been just Katchie and I.  With that said, I have worked late on Fridays quite a few times this year.

Your turn.  Grade yourself!

Memphis Review

I visited my wife’s family in Memphis for Christmas.  I had an awesome time with the family, but I thought I’d do a review of the places we went instead of discussing the festivities.

Place: Thrifty Car Rental

Pros: We rode down to Memphis in a gigantic, brand new, Expedition.  This is the only way to do a 24 hour road trip (aside from a fully stocked camper).

Cons: Customer service was abysmal.  Front desk gave me a LOT of attitude, and over-drafted my account by billing me incorrectly.

Grade: D.  I just can’t get past the fact that the manager who was “helping” me got frustrated and left in the middle of our conversation, turning responsibilities over to a dude in a UPS shirt.  Next year we’ll go Enterprise; I hear they’ll pick me up.

Place: Commissary BBQ

Pros: Great, smoky BBQ.  Excellent ribs. Nice selection of sauce.  Company catch phrase: “So good yu’ll slap yo’ mama.”

Cons: Waiter was a dick.  Acted put out and aloof.

Grade: B. The food made up for the waiter.

good smoke flavor

Place: Corky’s BBQ

Pros: Excellent BBQ sauce.  I’d put it over Commissary by just a fraction.  Excellent potato salad.

Cons: None.

Grade: A

Mmmm

Place: Memphis Judo and Jiu-Jitsu

Pros: Everyone I rolled with was good.  A guy named Virg taught the class, and he was super friendly.

Cons: The place was torn apart, but that’s because they’re moving in to a 24,000 sq. foot facility after Jan. 3rd.  Bad ass!

Grade: A

Good place to train.

Dyer’s

Pros: Awesome greasy dive.  Everything is deep fried, even twinkies (which I had).  The burger made a list called “7 Hamburgers of the Apocalypse.”  They haven’t changed the grease they use to cook with since 1912 (seriously).

Cons: They haven’t changed grease they use to cook with since 1912.

Grade: B

Even the air in the restaurant is infused with calories

Place: Taco Johns or Steak and Shake

Pros: None

Con: Everything

Grade: Die in a fire.

Die in a fire

Exercise Advice

I happily oblige most anybody asking me exercise advice.  I’m only annoyed when asked by the same twit over and over, but he never attempts what I tell him.  It’s as if he believes that by repetitively asking, he will somehow achieve a state of musclehead deliverance.  Since verbal osmosis does not produce a DragonEagle, this porcine putz’s gut grows greatly, as does my irritation in answering his aimless questions!

I think I’ll start an “Exercise Advice Bank” for such people.  Here’s my advice for deadlifts:

1 Double the weight you’re used to using.
2 Approach the bar, staggering one foot six inches behind the other.
3 Start with the bar a good 2.5 to 3 feet from your shins.
4 Grasp the bar with both hands less than one inch from one another while keeping plenty of slack in the elbow joint. You don’t want your arms extended prior to starting the lift.
5 Round your back like an angry cat.  Really focus on making your back resemble a lower case “n” prior to attempting the lift.
6 Breathe in deeply, then exhale all air out of lungs.
7 Explode upwards violently in a twisting, arcing motion. It’s important to let your elbow joints come to a jerking halt as your arms extend forcefully and suddenly.
8 To finish the lift, this portion of the technique most occur simultaneously: Focus on trying to rotate the barbell in a clockwise direction whilst vigorously wrenching your body the opposite direction.
9 Drop the bar, and repeat.

I promise you’ll really “feel it” the next day!

Mojo

Mojo?!?

I have my mojo back… Not the played out Austin Powers term, rather, me getting back to my old self.  I have had little interest in jiujitsu and weight lifting the last few weeks.  If you know me even a little, you know this is bizarre.  My workouts have been lackadaisical, and my skill set on the mat has been non-existent.  I guess grief has that effect on most people, and I’m not excluded.

Well, I’m on the rebound and it’s a good feeling.  I hit a personal record on deadlifts last week (385 for five reps), and just got back from a decent night of jiujitsu.  I was having fun again, and as a result, had a better night!  Now if I can get my aching neck, jacked up right shoulder, and creaky left knee to cooperate with my mojo, I’ll be set.

 

Forging Ahead, But Never Forgetting

Today should be my first day back in the gi since Miles passed.  I literally have no interest in jiu jitsu right now.  I’ve specifically avoided going to gi class.  The only gi I have was given to me by Miles.  He was sick of seeing my in my weathered, oversized, plain white judo loaner gi, and gave me one of his.  Wearing it now will be a constant reminder. 

 I love the sport, but the motivation to train seems to have been sapped from me.  This tells me I need to train now, more than ever.  I can forge ahead and continue with jiu jitsu, but never forget Miles by sporting the gi.  Also, I have to get good at the baseball bat choke.  It was the last move he showed me!

My friend, Miles

I want to write something to you that will capture my love for you as a friend and jiu-jitsu brother.  There is a lot I wish I could have said to you before you passed and want to tell you right now.  In the two plus years we’ve been friends, you quickly became an important person in my life.  Two years isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of things, but we forged bonds on the mat that people outside of this sport might not fully understand.  We flipped big ass tires, hit them with sledge hammers and called ourselves DragonEagles.  You quickly and seamlessly fit in with our group of friends, in that you could always be found at our parties and at fight night.  My wife frequently called you one of her “favorite people,” and double dates were always a blast.  I know you care about my wife and value her friendship as well; something of utmost importance to me.

We have had some incredibly competitive matches during training until we put the gi on, at which point you smoke me.  We have shared laughs (“For the record, I’m not looking”), and had good conversations about any and everything.  You are a genuine, hilarious, trustworthy, intelligent, disciplined man, but more importantly, an incredible friend.  I will never forget you and the impact you have had on my life.  The tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat aren’t any fun, but it does tell me how much you mean to me.  Rest in peace, buddy.