September 20th Update: Second Wind

Last week was not a great week — starting Tuesday, I was overcome by constant drowsiness, a feeling akin to starting a fever, etc etc. It was not a great time. But then Monday rolled around, and although I still couldn’t stick to my schedule — work and the rain and a general depressive feeling of demotivation — I did finally get my ass to the gym, and I got my second wind.

It happened after my third set of bench pressing. Getting onto the elliptical was easy — it’s just a matter of sitting down and moving a little. But it was the hauling of iron for the first time in a few days that really got my blood going — and as I looked on towards the occupied squat rack, my fleeting fear of doing a set of squats with achy knees immediately dissipated, and I was filled with determination to pump out my reps.

Pump them out I did. 4 sets of 8, more than I had ever done with my current weight, and proof that I’m ready to progress to the next weight level next week. That’s more than a yay — it’s awesome. And it felt awesome. I got through the rest of my workout with relative ease and didn’t feel physically depleted either.

Then we move on to today.

Today’s BJJ Session

Today we learned guard passing — closed guards, in particular — and had a little sparring session otherwise. My toe joints are killing me so I can’t stay in a full mount — puts too much pressure on that part of my foot — so during sparring, I was working almost entirely off my closed guard. Getting submissions from there was trivial — I’m pretty good at retaining my guard and controlling my opponent for a beginning white belt, it’s just that getting that guard is where all the trickiness comes in.

Today’s opponent was where I might’ve been a week ago. He seems to be quite tired, and constantly facing some sort of physical issue. That made the sparring less challenging — he was lacking strength and drive and for very good reasons. Little sleep, a soul-sucking job, and other factors can extremely impair your ability to fight. Even at 80 percent effort, getting sweeps and submissions and controlling his balance wasn’t a challenge.

That being said, we can’t all commit to our hobbies, especially when we have a living to make. That’s why I couldn’t train as much as I would’ve liked this week, with time constraints and other problems.

I do feel better though. A long weekend, lots of rest and a forced but much-needed workout has allowed me to gather up my second wind, and keep on trucking. I’ve never been particularly good at following through with things in the long term. But the things that really matter to me simply embed themselves into my life — so I have to make sure to prove to myself that training is a part of who I am. I already believe that to be true — but whenever that demotivation kicks in, whenever I feel a little depressed, I begin to doubt that that’s true.

We all feel that doubt, at some point in our lives, for some purpose.

We all have to push past that. So I guess what I’m saying is this: it’s okay to take a break, and feel down. Just pick yourself up whenever possible, don’t beat yourself up for slacking off, and get back to work.

Currently listening to: Nothing.