It pays to know Jiujitsu.
I’ve got a bunch of things that I’m working on – the New Year isn’t necessarily the starting point, I feel like “working on” is a lifetime pursuit of sorts. But one of the things that I’m particularly (read: habitually) bad about is taking care of myself. It sounds a little ridiculous, I know, but I have struggled with it my whole life.
In the past, my parents not only implored, but essentially had to fight me to go to the physical therapist when I had an injury (second ACL tear, meanwhile.) They had to fight to get me to go to the chiropractor (which I nearly didn’t do, save that I actually couldn’t lie down without severe pain.) They’ve fought me to go to the ER when I thought I could glue my own finger. They’ve had to tell me to take it easy when I don’t feel as up to my routine because I somehow tell myself I *should* still proceed ahead despite that I have a collapsed lung.
Yes, I know that our conversation with the Universe has a massive impact on our lives (I’ve seen it time and time again – good, bad, and ugly.) But I also feel it’s important to admit mistakes when necessary, as well as shortcomings. And frankly. . .
I’m not smart sometimes!
I push too hard, and I refuse – never for a great reason – to do the right thing for myself.
Take Jiu-Jitsu for example… Master Cycle is not just one jump up from Combatives. It’s SEVERAL. You learn more techniques, and build on the knowledge that got you to Blue Belt, but you also roll a lot more – free sparring means the injury level goes up. Generally Blue Belts have learned some control, but it takes YEARS to become proficient enough to be smooth. Injuries are going to happen at a high level too, but less so from lack of body control… Either way, you have to protect yourself – the element of possibility is always present.
In the last few months I’ve had my nose fractured twice. I’m blessed (and thankful!) that it wasn’t worse than it was…but it definitely makes you pause. I wasn’t wearing a mouth guard and it would have been only an inch difference to have possibly lost teeth. My husband has urged me to wear my mouthguard from the get go. “It’s uncomfortable,” I said. “It’s harder to breathe.”
“Would you rather lose teeth?!”
Of course I thought “NooOoo!” But. . .I still didn’t wear it.
So I’ve decided that my obstinacy and bullshit stops six days ago. It’s a perfect time for me to pull it together, and do the right thing to take care of myself. Loved ones shouldn’t have to fight me over my self-care, for crying out loud – and they aren’t pushing me for any reason beyond that they want me healthy, happy, and able to do what I love.
My parents put up with it for nearly 40 years. At almost 40, it’s fair (though possibly unfortunate) to say I’m pretty set in my ways. But that doesn’t mean I don’t learn, that I don’t care, or that I won’t make an effort to be a better person. We all have room to grow, and I do not consider myself unusually immutable.
For me, being a better person is a top priority – I feel distressed when I fall short of being anything but a positive influence on anyone in any regard (especially my family!) Of course I will fall short – I forgive myself in advance, knowing I’m human. But I do try – even if a little later in the game.
Better late than never, so they say, right?
Or, better before I lose some teeth.
It isn’t exactly funny. . .but interesting that there are so many memes about this!
I’ve been talking about this a lot lately – I simply have no interest in partnering with students who want to go full-bore. The purpose of my training is to learn techniques, to replicate them properly in order to create the correct muscle memory. I’m NOT interested in going bananas, and cranking my partner’s limbs…OR my own!
Don’t get me wrong, rolling, kicking, sparring, punching…at your full potential is great too, of course! – but this is more with respect to when we are specifically training techniques. I see (and sadly have FELT) rushing far more than I’d personally like – you can’t go at a snail’s pace for sure, but unless you solidly have the technique, it’s important to be mindful.
When you are in a class and learning techniques designed not only to lock joints, but flat-out BREAK them, staying in FULL CONTROL of your body and movement is integral.
Along with that? Keeping yourself tidy – again, mindfulness – so that you don’t put your partner at unnecessary risk (yes, I have had my face gouged my nails. “Ugh, your DNA is under my nail!” my partner said. My response wasn’t so cheeky, as I wiped the blood off my face.) Cleanliness and grooming matter when you are in a close contact sport.
These days, I’d rather say, “slow down,” “hold looser,” or “dude, maybe you want to partner with someone else.”
More substantial – avoidable – injuries? NO THANKS!