Monday, January 17, 2011

Why I Chose Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

I have set a goal to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu until the end of March. March, when the birds and butterflies make their way home. When the buds and the sky open up and bring forth all their radiance. When I will once again be able to hit the pavement running with renewed energy and pretend that winter doesn’t exist for me, at least for another eight months.

There are many reasons I decided to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. During the winter, my running decreases . . . a lot! I’ll be honest. I get a little bit of hibernation fat. My Mediterranean blood thinks these New England winters mean I should eat my weight in carbs, grease, and chocolate and then find a cave to sleep in for three months. After the snowstorm last week, I’m starting to think that’s not such a bad idea. (I’ve already done the eating part!)  Husband built a snow fort in my back yard that’s whispering “Come! Sleep!” to me. It’s very private. The kids are too interested in Wii Super Mario Brothers to even look twice at the fort, so that  makes it even more enticing.

Back to the hibernation fat. That all used to disappear with the crocuses in the spring. A few blissful runs in the sun, and voila! Summer Shark Girl was ready for action! But lately . . . Shark Girl’s winter reserves have been lingering so far into the summer that they’re still there the next fall!
Shark Girl also realized that her winter doldrums were less prominent last year during a home renovation project. If I distract myself, I can pretend winter is not even happening! In an effort to be efficient (which I think I am, but then spend hours surfing aimlessly on the Internet, only to come up for air wondering, What was I looking for?), I put my two goals together. I needed to find an exercise to distract myself through this winter.  I could join a gym, but that’s just so gymmy. And while I’m sure some of the gym characters could distract me, in the end I ran the risk of being more depressed.
My sons recently started tae kwon do. Maybe I could join them? That would be really efficient. It would take no extra time out of my life. I already have to sit through their class.
I studied their class. It’s great for them. Their instructor focuses on discipline. They say, “Yes, sir.” They do push ups when they act out. Believe me. My boys need that. But me? That’s just not what I need right now. I have spent the greater part of my life disciplining myself and I don’t want to give away that authority right now. Plus, as I watched the workout, I never saw much of a sweat going on. But what about kick boxing? Or another form of martial art? I started researching martial arts to find out if there was one that would meet my needs. Everything pointed to BJJ. As a small woman, it seemed the most practical. All sources said it was an amazing workout. And finally, people described it as being difficult. So, I thought, a good distraction!

Tonight I played Wii with my boys for the first time since the summer. We each chose a game to play. Mine was Wii Fit. Secretly I wanted to weigh in and see if jiu jitsu has kept up its side of the bargain as far as my winter insulation is concerned. I do not own a scale and haven’t stepped foot on one since the summer. We all weighed in tonight and here are the Wii stats for those concerned:
4-Year Old: +1.8 pounds
8-Year Old: +2.2 pounds
Shark Girl: +.9 pounds

I rejoice in this number! January and less than a pound gained in winter weight! My mind wanders self-indulgent: perhaps this is all in my new, Arnold biceps from those push ups? What a great fantasy—that I have added almost a half a pound to each biceps!
Then Husband steps on the balance board. Husband, whose running has decreased, but hasn’t picked up any substitute. Husband weighs in at: -.4 pounds?? What? It’s not that I’m not happy for him. I really am. But, jees! First the disrespect on my push ups and now he’s beat my winter weight struggle without even trying? There’s only so much a Shark Girl can take.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not obsessed with my weight. If I were, my diet would consist of a lot less refined sugar and much more fruits and vegetables. I am no stranger to multiple slices of pizza, heaping teaspoons of sugar and cream in my coffee, and I made those oatmeal chocolate chip cookies last night just to eat the dough. Rather, I would call myself attentive to my weight. And maybe a little competitive. I set a goal, damn it!

When March comes, and those butterflies return, perhaps I will still be doing the butterfly sweep, as well. Part of me wants to see what happens when I ramp up my running with the jits. Another part wonders if next year come December, BJJ will be familiar, and not enough of a distraction to get me through a second winter. Maybe then you will find me writing a new blog. But I’m not sure what it would be about. There’s an edge to BJJ that suits me. I hope it doesn’t go away.

1 comment:

  1. I too make cookies just for the dough. And depend on vigorous rolling several times a day to keep the behind at bay. Or reduce it in size.


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