We all know that BJJ can take it's toll on the body. There's aches here and pains there (never mind the occasional injury). My classes bunch up towards the latter half of the week, and by the time Saturday afternoon comes around, I'm ready for a day off. It was again like that today. Achy back, sore fingers, stiff neck, dodgy shoulder, blah blah. And my triceps were complaining, no idea why. But basically a fairly typical Sunday :-)
Usually, by Monday evening, I'm pretty much fully functional again. Which is why it's I'm glad we have another BJJ class. That way, my body never gets out of the habit of feeling abused.
I do tend to have a massage every couple of months. That takes the worst kinks out of the back, neck and shoulders. Should really do it every month. My massage lady is great. She is a 3rd degree black belt in Karate, and something similar in TKD. So she knows a thing or three about abused bodies. She is very good at finding those irky knots in my muscles, and attacks them with painful, steely thumbs :-) I'm sure my muscles just go: OK, ok, I'll relax, just STOP prodding!! Truth be told, most of the massage is very relaxing and enjoyable, and the moments of pain are well worth it, because I feel so much better for days and weeks afterwards. My right shoulder has an old rotator cuff injury, and the massage really loosens things up.
My body is begging to make a massage appointment in the very near future!
What prompted my reflection on the hazards of BJJ is that I looked at my feet the other day. Honestly, my feet are downright ugly:
I stepped out of the shower and noticed (not for the first time), the multitude of coloured patches. So I took a photo. I know, I know, that's strange. I guess I was a bit shocked. Not that I ever had the sort of pretty feet and beautiful ankles that would help win a beauty contest... but now they look like they've "been in the wars".
Well, I guess I'm stuck with them :-)
At least they go well with my calloused knees and elbows. I even have toughened skin on the backs of my shoulders. Oh boy.
But hey, the news isn't all bad. I'm fitter and healthier than before, I am stronger in general with good grip strength. I'm keeping up with the young guys in class. Hey, I make them puff when I tak warm ups.... In fact, I have no problem doing 6 classes per week, and could probably do more. So I'm not complaining and consider myself lucky indeed.
My sister is 6 years younger than I. She's had a couple of children and had to quit doing JJJ/Judo for the last few years. She also injured her knee and needed surgery. She is planning on going back to training but says she won't compete again because of the knee. And for that, she envies me.
Strangely, the issues I've had with my own left knee (must be a family thing??) have never given me issues. Once someone slammed into it sideways and I had to take a week off. But that aside I have no problems. Also, a once easily crinked neck is now so muscled up that some collars feel too tight, and I have to really, really abuse it to feel pain. Still gets a bit stiff here and there, but the training has improved it tremendously.
So aside from the fun I'm having, all in all my body is benefitting. I know the feet look ugly. But I can live with that :-)