Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The pros and cons of training in the heat.

I live in Florida.  

My gym is not fancy.  Not even a little.

It is basically an office, a singular bathroom, and mats.

Inside a warehouse, in an industrial park.

A far cry from the well know, absolutely gorgeous, state of the art, all white, glass front gym of the Art of Jiu-Jitsu Academy of the Mendes Brothers. ... that I am sure is kept about 15 degrees cooler than the gym I (very happily) call home.

As you can imagine, in Florida in the summer at midday, it can get a little warm.  And by a little warm, I mean 91 degrees.  It is air conditioned, but again... warehouse, midday, Florida... sweating bodies.  It stays about 90 degrees.

In the summer time I am dripping sweat by the end of warm ups.  You could literately just sit in the gym and warm up.

By the end of the second grapple my fingers are pruney, and they stay that way all class.  This really isn't a problem except for the fact that when my skin is all soggy, it is much more easily ripped or rubbed off.  And of course, gripping and pulling on lapels and sleeves for an hour does exactly that.  For about a month now my finger tips have been raw... and the horrifying calluses I have developed on all my knuckles over the past three years have been slowly rubbed off from grappling in a constant state of wet handedness.

My elbows and knees are also getting rubbed raw from the same thing... damp skin, wet rough gi = rubbed off skin.  And of course, its sweat, not just water so it stings.

Insert more bitching and complaining about grappling soggy here.

The mats are also constantly wet and slippery.  It can quite literally be like grappling on a slip and slide sometimes.

And all of that on top of, grappling in heat makes it hard to breathe, its hard to catch your breath, and staying hydrated while not drinking too much water is a fine line to walk.

It sucks.... but I love it.  
It is weirdly satisfying.
(I also love BJJ, my team, and my instructor, so that makes all the suffering much more bearable.)
The singular pro is that I will train like this all summer, and when it comes time to compete in the lovely air conditioned gyms it will a cake walk.

Well, I guess, a second pro could be that the excessive exfoliation is making me softer than I've ever been in my life.  That counts for something I am sure.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Why not to cut weight.... at least for me.

I cut weight for Copa, and this was closer to cutting weight than what I normally do.  If I want to drop a weight class, I always start well in advance, and try to go about doing it in the best way possible, with the least negative effects on my body.

For Copa, I about 5% of my body weight in six days.  It may not really seem like a lot, but it was enough to put me in the hospital.  Oops.

I normally have low blood pressure, and in cutting weight, I got dehydrated, and it caused my already low BP to drop even lower.

The weird thing about it was I have been dehydrated before, and I feel dehydrated.  I am tried, my head hurts and I feel awful.  This time though, I felt generally fine.  I was tired, and sore, but I attributed it to the fact that I had just competed.

However, walking across my house, I blacked out, and landed on my face.  Neither of those things were real great for my body.

It's actually not as funny when you are the one falling down. 

And being that blacking out and smashing your face is not something that generally happens to 30 year old healthy women, I was forced to go to the ER.

Luckily the problem was just hypotension caused by dehydration, and possibly my anemia in conjunction with my already low BP.  My normal BP is 85/50 ish... so when it is already low, having it drop rapidly from standing and moving quickly, I fainted.  I do get dizzy if I stand up quickly from time to time, but I guess it was just made worse by dehydration.

So, they gave me an epic crap ton of fluids... they started with three bags all at once.  That sucked quite a bit.  It made me REALLY cold and miserable for about an hour... but then they gave me fluids at a normal rate and kept me for observation.  ... Observation being, my standing up and siting down a bunch of times over and over, whist my hospital gown malfunctioned horribly.

So, the moral of this story is... I will never cut weight again.  I will just fight strong at my walking around weight and that will just have to be enough, and I am sure it will be.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Copa America Competition

I competed today in the Copa America tournament here in Lakeland.

I took third in the blue belt division, second in no gi expert, and second in no gi all weight all skill level absolute.

Only one other teammate of mine competed, Jimmy.  He took second in purple belt absolute, and third in both of the all belts, all weights gi and no gi division.  He did really well, especially considering he black and brown belts in both of his absolutes.  

We took home six medals for Team Fabio Novaes between the two of us.  Not too bad. 

I had a lot of fun, and surprisingly had a whole new set of girls to grapple.  I have been running into the same girls over and over at these types of competitions, so it was a nice change of pace.  

However, I learned a really good lesson.  Never cut weight.  Ever.


I went into my gi division feeling like crap, and not surprisingly grappled like crap.  I had tough girls in that division too, so that didn't help at all.  My second match I went to post my foot to hip out and my foot started shaking and I had zero energy, so I mentally quit. ... Until I heard Jimmy tell me I was down by five points with a minute to go, so I needed to move my ass.  Luckily I was able to return to my guard and pull off a triangle.  But I wouldn't have been in that boat in the first place if I had just fought strong six pounds ago.

By the time no gi rolled around I'd eaten and had plenty to drink so I feel like I grappled a lot better.   So, yay for that.   

Over all it was a really fun tournament, and I am looking forward to (hopefully) The Atlanta Open, and The Miami Open.