I had a good tournament in Chicago and honestly that was in and out the door the next day. I was back to training on Monday. Unfortunately I was pretty sore and I did a full practice and it wasn't a good idea. I should have held back and just gotten warm and done some light work and drill. I was just so excited to get back into the gym though. Tuesday came complete burnout and my muscles went to crap. I was down physically and mentally drained. One thing turned into another with not being efficient at work and the next thing, I got to Friday and had only trained Monday! I couldn't train over the the weekend or friday night because my family visited some friends in good old PA. Instead, I did an hour of cardio at home on Friday and then again on Sunday when we got back. I also spent some of that downtime watching and studying one of my favorite competitors, Bernardo Faria.
Lesson learned with jumping back into things and being 37 years old. I don't use my age as an excuse for anything; however it's fact that you don't recover as quickly as you get older. When I started BJJ at 33, I had no problems at all. In fact, after a tournament, I would normally take a few days off because it was the status quo at the gym, then realized I didn't need to! I can still keep up with guys 5, 10, 15, 20 years younger, but I have to be smart about it. Make sure I'm keeping hydrated, getting enough rest, and giving your body enough calories are huge in keeping consistent with training for me and I'd guess that's probably true of a lot of people that train.
This week (starting the 7th) has been a great week so far. Good training on Monday, on Tuesday, and this morning on Wednesday. It's my first experience getting ready for one of the big tournaments with my team I've been with for about 6 months now. I'm liking the intensity, the guidance, and the leadership of Tony, our instructor. It's like a switch gets flipped and he's preparing to win and for us to win. Not just talk about it. Lots of people talk about it, but not everybody puts in the work to be successful. I really respect him and furthermore, I'm very impressed that even though he a black belt, he is constantly working to get better and to teach even better. I never thought of black belt as the end of the road, but I didn't realize that there would be people working so hard after the accomplishment. It's very inspirational as a student of his and even when he's not teaching he's teaching! Teaching by setting that example of hard work and discipline when he himself is training.
I'm doing no weight training to prepare for this year's Pan Ams. I don't see the benefit to it at this point. Weight training for me would be more off season. I still am doing cardio in addition to BJJ competition training and some circuit training with a lot of body weight stuff. That said, I'm spending as much time on the mat as I can for the next 2.5 weeks. My good friend Tiago Guissani from Sao Paulo is coming into town on Saturday. He's a very good brown belt competitor and he is a super heavyweight (207.5-221.5lbs), so he will be awesome to work with for some of the middle to upper weight guys. He's a very determined person and I learn a lot from him and we train hard! Also, my family loves him and he has a good time playing with my 4 year old boy. Nolan, my son, doesn't know it yet, but Tiago is going to present him with his first jiu jitsu gi when he comes to town. That is going to be really cool. He will almost be ready for Tony; maybe in another couple months! Tony also has brought in Claudio Calasans from Atos Team on the 19th for a seminar. I'm really looking forward to that. Claudio is an incredible competitor and is a pit bull and yet again, a great way to cap off the Pan Ams training.
Anyway, it looks like I'll compete Thursday night or Friday morning (24 or 25th of this month). The preschedule is about and adult blue is thursday night and friday morning. I hope it's friday morning! just cause of the time change, but it is what it is. I will fight my heart out when I get out there. I want this so bad. Last year, I got knocked out in the quarterfinals and went 2 wins and 1 loss. I'll probably need to win 4 to 5 matches to win this year. Again, it is what it is. Jiu jitsu isn't like school, where you can get a letter grade. It's either pass or fail in terms of the outcome. Inherently, yes, it's never a failure as long as you got out there and tried and worked hard to get there. That and take lessons learned from that tournament, go back, fix them, and be better the next time. It is, however, pass/fail when it comes to getting one of those prestigious medals though, so I have to train for an A+. I have come a long way since last year and I'm anxious to put myself to the test. I know I can succeed. Like Cyborg says, "Training is hard, Competing is easy." It's not completely easy!, but I see what he's saying there. We win in the training room, not cramming the night before. The tournament is the gift for the hard training. It's the reward, the prize.