Ego – Rambling thoughts of Tess


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Training in Jiu Jitsu your ego gets tested every day, you see it get tested on others every day, It is probably one of the hardest things to control when training in Jiu Jitsu.

When new guys start at the gym I will generally don’t roll with them until I know what kind of person they are. Last night a new guy joined us in class. He was a big, strong looking dude, and he carried himself in a certain way. I watched him on and off throughout the night and after seeing how he was with my other training partners who are bigger, stronger and have more skills than me, I knew he was not someone I wanted to roll with – to put it bluntly he had zero control, you can tell he understands a little of what was going on but he did not have enough skill or self-control.

As it turned out I had to go with him (not by choice…I guess in hindsight I could have refused to go with him but I didn’t). He had to get me in his back control and I had to get out and get myself into a more controlling situation before he submitted me. This guy is probably about 20-30kg heavier than me, he is fit and he is strong. He is trying his hardest to submit me, I am trying my hardest to survive, I manage to get out of his back control position but he still has a dominate position on me. Eventually I ended up back in his back control, he desperately tries to get a rear naked choke on me but I am pretty good little defender in this position, so instead of setting up the submission properly (he doesn’t know how to) he uses all of his 90kg strength to crush my jaw, twist my head around like I am out of the Exorcist, and crushes my spine and I tap.

I might have said some profanity when he let me go and he asked me if I was alright and I told him I was FINE!, We all know what that means when a woman says that……it means she is not fine.

My back and my spirit was not happy after that. I rolled my back out on the roller, I tried rolling with one of my trusted training partners but pulled out part way through the roll and sat out for the rest of the night. I went home early and I was pissed off! I never feel angry after training, especially now that I train at a brilliant school with excellent coaches & students but last night I was pissed off! Not because I had to tap, I am more than happy to tap to whoever, I really don’t care but the fact that this guy was so desperate for submission that he would do whatever it takes to get it.

Two egos were tested on this night, his definitely was – he steps on the mats in a new gym where he hasn’t trained before and felt (totally speculating here) he had something to  prove to us all – if he only knew that none of us care how awesome or not he is.

My ego got tested as well, not because I got beaten, I get beaten every night at training I’m used to it. I just got so angry and that is ego. I was angry at him for not knowing the skills better, I was angry at him because he didn’t understand that he didn’t have a submission, he just crushed the shit out of me. I was angry at myself that I went against my better judgement and rolled with him anyway.

He was only doing what he knew best and that was using his strength to get what he wanted. Hopefully, if he continues to train, that he will learn better skills and start to use technique more and less brute strength. Who knows one day down the track we could roll again and hopefully it will be more enjoyable experience.

 

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Gifts – Rambling thoughts from Tess


Gifts

Gifts are shit that is given to you that you don’t want or need but feel compelled to keep it anyway because it is the thought that counts…..apparently.

Every year I tell my mum not to buy me anything for Christmas or birthday and every year she says she won’t but does anyway.

My birthday is in winter. A few years back leading up to my birthday I went over to my mums to visit her with my daughter and her boyfriend. My mum was telling me that she is knitting some scarfs for Grandma, and my Aunty and whoever else that was on her list. I have no interest in crafty things but I listened like a good daughter should about the wool she was using etc. She then asked me if I wanted her to make me one. Now in the past I have always felt like I should say yes to make everyone happy but as I get older I now say no to things I don’t want and I made it pretty clear to her on this day that I was not interested in having a scarf – I told her I don’t wear them therefore pointless making me one. My daughter was there and witnessed that conversation – so guess what I got for my birthday that year….you got it, a scarf. I got to admit, I was a little annoyed but it is the thought that counts, right?

To me a gift is life, friendship, and spending time with your family, not materialist things.

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BJJ – love it, hate it, love it again – Part 3


Here is part two (part one & part two can be found here)  of my never ending story on how I got involved in martial arts, and the past to present roller coaster – hope you enjoy it.

I felt very lost for a long time after I gave up martial arts. It consumes your life most nights of the week plus weekends and then nothing for about 12 months. My memory is pretty bad with some things so I am not sure exactly what I did with myself in the 12 month break. By this stage I was fairly established in the fitness industry and I was looking for something new to explore in the industry because body building to me is a snore Zzzzzz. I was reading a lot about different style training, and that is when I came across kettlebells and Cross Fit – this was long before they became main stream as they are today. They both seemed like a tough way to train and I liked the sound of that. I never explored Cross fit but I certainly did with Kettlebells but that is another blog.

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How I got involved in BJJ is a complicated story – it started off as a love story but ended in lies, deception, manipulation, and narcissism – everything that is perfect for a bestselling novel, which I will tell one day but not appropriate for this blog. So I will skip all the juicy bits and just fill you in on what is necessary for a fighter’s blog.

So after having about 12 months off from martial arts I went out one night with a friend who was celebrating a figure competition that she had entered that day. My friend was also doing some Muay Thai at a club that she had been trying to drag me to but I had the attitude “been there, done that”. While we were at the pub she pointed out a guy to me and told me he was one of the owners of the martial arts club that she trained at, I just shrugged it off and didn’t pay much more attention to him and his friends. As the night progressed my friend must have told this guy that I had done martial arts and he came over to me and started chatting to me about it. We talked for a while throughout the evening and when he told me he taught BJJ I told him that I had done it years earlier and remember loving it. He told me I should come down and try it one night…I eventually did.

When I first started BJJ I started it for the right reason, continued it for the wrong reasons and then re-continued it for the right reasons again. Confusing I know but in my head it makes sense 🙂

I am pretty sure for the first 3 years of doing BJJ I was asleep, I do not remember retaining anything. I trained a couple of days a week, I kinda fluffed my way through the first 3 years of training. By the time I started to take it more seriously, (i.e. training more) I wasn’t really enjoying it anymore. I was taking my failures way too seriously and every day for years I thought I was terrible at this sport. My coach never took my training serious or what I wanted to achieve. He would belittle my skills, in his “joking” manner. If I asked him for help he would always say “I will show you later” but that later never came. I know he didn’t treat his other students like this, just me, I was the special one. I spent years feeling like crap towards BJJ, I had no self-confidence. If I competed, I automatically went to the competition defeated and the majority of the time I would lose, with my coach in my corner yelling instructions that I could never hear or understand. There were some rare moments where he would tell me he was proud of me but those moments were very rare. It was almost like an old school way to treat people – show little care and on the odd occasion give them some praise just to keep them interested – the club was a toxic learning environment for me.

I know I am not painting a very happy picture of this old coach of mine – he is an excellent coach, he was just a terrible one for me. Of course there is always two sides to every story, he is not fully to blame, I was a lazy student, not in a physical aspect but I was mentally. You have to find the right coach that suits you, someone that you can learn from and it’s fine to stop going to a club if you don’t feel comfortable with the environment, I learnt that the hard way.

I hated training with girls at the start, I found it confusing. For many years I was the only girl on the mats, every now and then other ladies would drift in and out but not consistent. Then after about 4 years of just training with men some women started training more consistently. I found it very difficult, I was territorial, they rolled a lot differently to men and I didn’t know how to handle it. I wasn’t, and still not an aggressive person so when you are used to guys not going full tilt at you but then the girls do, I was taken aback. My ego started to get tested, if I lost to a guy its ok but I can’t lose to a girl who had just started. I felt like after about four-five years of doing Jiu Jitsu I should have some sort of skill to handle new people but I didn’t (well, so I thought). I was discovering that I had no basics skills, these basic skills that should be taught from the beginning of Jiu Jitsu and I was struggling with them. So I continue to struggle my way through Jiu Jitsu, there were nights where I dreaded to go to training but I kept going, night after night and going home upset and defeated. It was affecting my home life with my daughter, she was always walking on egg shells because I was always moody. Some of my training partners started telling me that I was doing really well, of course I didn’t believe them, by this stage I had no faith in myself or my skills and I didn’t know how to handle their compliments.

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While I was still training at this gym, a Wrestling/MMA coach joined the coaching team and I had regular PT sessions with him. It took me by surprise that this coach was so encouraging, and took a huge interest in making me better at Jiu Jitsu. He taught me how to wrestle, he taught me a lot of the basics, he taught me how to scramble, and he was one of the best coaches that I had ever trained with at that point. He generally cares about his students, he sees their potential and works on making them stronger, faster, better. To this day I still train with him but unfortunately not as much as I would like. Steve Kennedy now has his own gym called Kickass MMA, a very successful MMA gym – if you want to be a very good MMA fighter or work on your wrestling this is the place to go – only beasts come out of this gym.

One morning while I was at work I had a life changing experience – this experience will be written in my best seller. This life changing experience made me pack my bags and I took off to the US for nearly 5 months to escape from my life for a while. At this point you would think it would be a perfect opportunity for me to give up the sport that I have not enjoyed doing for so many years but I didn’t. It is this sport that helped me with my healing process from the trauma that I was going through at the time and it was during this healing process that I found the love for the sport again. I honestly believe that Jiu Jitsu saved me, it was a very confusing time in my life and BJJ helped me through it. When you are doing BJJ you cannot let your mind wander – you are focused on the technique you are learning or the people you are rolling with. 

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I landed in Las Vegas by myself not knowing anyone there and I stayed there for two months off and on. I also spent some time down in San Diego and traveled all the way along the east coast. Every morning I would get up and head to the gym and do a morning BJJ session, I would go home have some lunch, have a sleep and then head back to the gym for an evening session. It was hard work training twice a day, it took a toll on my body some days. The standard levels of belt ranks in America are ridiculously high, as you would expect. I was a blue belt and really wished I packed my white belt but I was excited because I knew I was going to learn so much. I met some awesome people and trained with some high level competitors/champions. All I wanted to do was train, eat, sleep and that is exactly what I did. I made a lot of friends very quickly and the Americans helped restore my faith back in to humanity. 

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They say you shouldn’t run away from your problems but I believe it was the best thing I ever did, I would highly recommend it to anyone going through some heavy shit – take off and see the world, it will humble you. Travel on your own, get used to spending time by yourself; it helps you reflect on your life and the people that are in it. I am stronger for my travels.

When I had to fly home, I was dreading it. I didn’t want to be in Perth anymore, I thought it had nothing for me, too much pain & disappointment was associated with Perth. The only draw card for me was my family and friends. My plan was that when I got home I had to keep myself busy, I didn’t want to sit still for one minute and that is exactly what I did and I slipped back into my life with ease. I removed all the toxic people from my life and reunited friendships that were lost due to the people I was hanging out with. What I did with my time and where my Jiu Jitsu is now, well that is for part four….I know, I lied, I didn’t realize how long the third part would be. So this epic story continues – stay tuned to for part four!

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The night in Vegas I told a huge, angry, black man to shut the ‘f’ up…


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Most people would agree Australian’s are fairly laid back about most things. Depending on the situation if someone tells you to shut up, generally you will see the errors in your way and say “yeah ok, no worries mate”

For example, years ago I was in Melbourne for a Kettlebell workshop and I was sharing a room with a friend at the Sandbelt Hotel. Now the Sandbelt is an old hotel, it’s not flash but its clean and cheap. It is single story and all the rooms are joined in the shape of a U, the car park is in the centre, so you can drive your car right up to the front door of your room. Attached to the hotel is a pub, which has awesome cheap, pub meals.

Like I said, I had traveled to Melbourne which is a 4.5hr flight from Perth to attend a Kettlebell workshop for the weekend. On this particular night we were trying to sleep and I say trying because the people in another room had their door open and were talking and laughing very loud for hours. So in Australia once it hits 12am there is an unspoken rule – or maybe this rule is just in my head but anyways there is an unspoken rule that when it hits 12am you need to shut the fuck up, – if you are having a party at your house it needs to quieten it down at 12. It was well after 12am and I had to get up early to attend this workshop. Throughout the night when I would get woken up by hysterical loud laughter – I mean how dare they have fun – I would mumble to myself, I would be huffing and puffing all night – probably keeping my friend awake by doing so, its a vicious cycle. At one point it all got to much for me in the wee hours of the morning and I got out of bed, walked up to the front door, opened it and I looked out across the car park to where the sound was coming from – our room was on a corner and the noisy bastards room was on the other corner and I see three people sitting on the bed together chatting and I yell out to them “do you mind shutting the fuck up, some of us are trying to sleep” – any cool person would have gone over an joined them but I was on a mission to learn some kettlebells stuff the next day, couldn’t possibly be tired for that. They all turned to look at me and they said “oh sorry, we’ll keep it down” me in return “cool no worries”… yeah right like it was no worries 2mins earlier, so they kept quite, I got to sleep and everyone was happy….everyone meaning me.

So because most of the Aussies that I have told to shut the fuck are like that, I just assumed the rest of the world is like that too…ahhh nope!

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So in 2014 I was going through a crisis in my life and I thought fuck this shit I am taking off for a while and I headed to the US for a few months. At this point in my trip I had been in San Diego for a month training BJJ and now I was heading to Palm Springs to meet up with a friend, she flew in from Vancouver. We then went on a road trip to Joshua Tree, Grand Cannon, Hoover Dam and up to Vegas, which I was going to stay for another month there. The last night that my friend was in Vegas we went out to the strip, crazy as this sounds we didn’t have any wild party, weird I know how does that happen in Vegas and we ended back at the hotel room about 12 – again weird. We both jump into our beds and at about 3am we are woken up by someone banging on the door next-door to us and it went on and on for what felt like an eternity. I was laying in bed huffing and puffing listening to this dickhead yelling and banging on the door – if nothing else I think we have all established from this story, don’t fuck with my sleep….. So true to my form, it gets too much for me and I open up our door, I can’t see him he’s tucked around the corner and I yell “would you shut the fuck up!” and in a split second this massive, angry, black dude comes running towards me yelling “what the fuck did you say to me” ……yes I screamed and slammed the door shut… all I could hear was him yelling “I’m going to kill her” (actually I don’t know if he said that but that was going through my head) his girlfriend was trying her best to calm him down, but he continued to yell “fuck her, she disrespected me, how dare she”…..What!!! I disrespected him, thats like the pot calling the kettle black….ummmm I’m not the one who’s been yelling and banging for hours in the hall keeping everyone awake…well, keeping me and my friend awake, everyone else was probably doing, what you should be doing, when you are in Vegas – partying, gambling and waking up in ditches! So I call security…I now know that is what I should have done in the first place. I tell security that I might have angered an already angry man out in the hall who has been yelling and banging for hours – could someone please remove him before he breaks in and kills me, thank you.

I then go back to bed. I’m lying on my back, staring at the ceiling thinking to myself any moment now he is going to bust in, guns blazing cause I disrespected him and I am going to die…but then I also I thought, well if I am going to die tonight I might as well get a good night sleep before it happens, I rolled over and went back to sleep. The next day my friend I was sharing the room with started to lecture me, telling me I shouldn’t have done that, things are different in America, I told her she could have told me that before I nearly got murdered. So there are many lessons that I have learnt from this story and I hope you did too

lifelessons

  1. I am boring and clearly my sleep is more important than having a good time
  2. I need to invest in a good pair of ear plugs
  3. Perhaps not everyone is cool at being told to shut the fuck up
  4. Both of my friends at these incidents would never tell anyone to shut the fuck up, so they are clearly better people than myself
  5. and probably the biggest lesson of all, if Tess needs her sleep don’t mess with it.

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Black Belts are just people too – Part 2


Here is part two (part one can be found here)  of my never ending story on how I got involved in martial arts, and the past to present roller coaster – hope you enjoy it.
Black belts are just people too…

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After searching for a martial arts that would suit me – now remember the internet wasn’t as accessible as it is today so you couldn’t search different styles – I was flicking through the local paper one day and came across Bob Jones Corporation (BJC). I rang them up and I booked my intro session. The school was close to my house, the coach didn’t seem like a weirdo and I really enjoyed punching and kicking the pads. I signed up and that is where my roller coaster, martial arts journey started.

The school practiced Zen Do Kai – freestyle karate & Muay Thai, and this was the first place I was introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). To be honest I was really confused between all three, at the start I thought they were all one thing, it took me a while to figure out they were separate. The first night I was introduced to BJJ I loved it, didn’t understand it but I really enjoyed it. I remember only doing it a couple of times, enough to confuse me that while doing Muay Thai if I took someone down I would have to get back up again and not stay on the ground and continue to wrestle. Whenever they stopped me on the ground I always remember thinking “but this is the best part”. After being at this school for about 12 months (maybe longer) I received a letter in the mail (yes that’s right, we only had snail mail then). When I read through the letter I couldn’t believe what I was reading, I had to read it several times. It was from my Sensei he explained to me that someone in his life has given him the ultimatum – either I leave the club or she leaves him…

If you stick with martial arts long enough there are many lessons that you will learn along the way. It was at this point that I realised that black belts were only human, they didn’t have super powers, they didn’t have great wisdom – they are just ordinary people like you and me. They may have worked hard to get their black belt and deserve recognition for that but that is as far as my impression goes. It was at this point that I will never think more of a person or look up to someone until I get to know them.

The marital arts community really puts a lot of emphasis on lower belts always showing respect to the higher belts….I can understand why… to a certain point. They say they have had to work hard to get to their position, but so do engineers and doctors. That doesn’t mean I am going to show them anymore respect than someone who works at coles as a checkout person. I have met many black belts over the years and some of them are pretty douchy. The way I see it once you walk out of your dojo, you are just a regular person.

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Saying I was devastated is an understatement, I thought my whole world was coming to an end. I was confused, it wasn’t like I was hitting the coach – I just turned up to my classes and left. I tried to join in conversations, tried to be a part of the club social nights as much as I could – as a good student should. Anyway, someone suggested to me that I try Sean Allen’s Martial Arts up at Greenwood, it was further away from my house but it wasn’t until I had done a couple of classes at this school that I realised that this school was much better suited to me. It was more family orientated, more friendly and I made lots of friends very quickly. I just fitted in better there and was very happy that I was forced out of my old school. People asked me why I changed clubs and for years I just said it wasn’t for me there, I kept the truth to myself for years, then when I started to get to know some of the ladies I told them what had happened. They informed me that I wasn’t the only girl that this has happened too, so I was glad to hear that because I felt like I did something wrong, but I didn’t. I don’t hold any malice towards these people anymore, whatever they had going on in their lives at that point probably seemed important at that point in time.

I continued training at my new school for about 5 years give or take. I continued with Zen Do Kai, Muay Thai and I also did boxing – I loved boxing. I had the brilliant Bobby Mayne as my coach and he taught me some awesome boxing skills, we never did BJJ at this school and I kind of forgot about it during this period.

Once I received my black belt in Zen Do Kai and my black singlet in Muay Thai, I came to the realisation that I hated katas and I was bored with hitting pads. I had no interest in jumping in the ring and having a fight (too wimpy for that) – I felt like the sport was missing something but I just didn’t know what it was.

Let me tell you something about myself – I am an all or nothing kinda gal. If something interests me I will give it my all, I will learn everything about it, and I will saturate the subject to the bitter end. Then once I get good at it and there is nothing else to learn I will lose interest in it. I may go back every now and then to play with it but nothing consistent. So I left that school, I told them that I needed a break – they must have known that I wasn’t coming back, like so many others once they get their black belts.

I still have my black belt I worked hard to achieve it, so what does it mean to me today?…Absolutely nothing, it is a trophy collecting dust. Even though I worked hard for it, I do not classify myself as a black belt anymore. I believe you need to continue practicing the art to keep calling yourself a black belt. It annoys me when someone tells you that they are a black belt, they got it when they were 15 years old but didn’t continue on with the martial arts after that and they are now 40 years old….well I hate to break it to you, you’re not a black belt.

In Zen Do Kai when you get a new belt it is custom to wear it for twenty four hours. Did I do this with my black belt….nope! Why? Because I realised at this point it was meaningless, it doesn’t shape me as person, it doesn’t make me good or bad, my black belt was not Tess. I am far bigger, far more awesome, far more complicated than a black belt.

So what does getting a black belt mean to me…

  • I might know a bit more self-defence than someone who hasn’t done martial arts
  • I know how to punch and kick, throw elbows & knees
  • I know how to clinch
  • I’m not a quitter
  • I will endure a lot of shit to get what I want
  • I will work hard to get what I want
  • And I am a pretty good at skipping

Just because this is how I feel about my black belt doesn’t mean I am belittling anyone else who has received a black belt. We all view each other’s achievements differently, everybody’s marital arts journey is different.

I know it doesn’t sound like it but I am proud of my achievements, while doing these sports I could have given up when I came across my first obstacle (getting kicked out of my first school) but I didn’t. I really enjoyed my training under these styles but I felt like it was missing something, I didn’t know what I just knew there was something more for me, something bigger…

Stay tuned to find out what that was…

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The Beginning Part One


I have been asked to be one for the writers for this awesome site Fight Clinic, I was excited when I was approached as I love to write, I will never pretend that I am the best writer but I do enjoy putting my thoughts on paper. I thought I should introduce myself to the readers so they get the feel on who I am and what my background is. I decided to share them on my regular blog as well. I have broken this blog up into 3 sections as it became quite long, I do like to waffle haha5308189-the-beginning-green-road-sign-illustration-on-a-radiant-blue-background

Part one – The beginning

I have been doing martial arts on and off for about 15 years and I started writing about my experiences on my blog that I started a few years back. I love to write, especially about topics that I love – BJJ, fitness and nutrition. I am very honest with my thoughts and experiences – sometimes this may or may not upset people ~ shrug. I also review products so if you have any fitness or BJJ/MMA gear that you would like me to review and want people to know about – send them to me. Lastly, I interview people who I find interesting and inspiring.

So here is a bit of my background on how I started in martial arts to where I am today.

I was born in the 70’s and loved (still do) a lot of the movies and TV shows from the 70’s/80’s. Many shows influenced me – I watched flash dance and I wanted to dance in legwarmers, I watched Xanadu and I wanted to be a roller skating goddess, and I watched Lost Boys and I wanted Kiefer Sutherland to turn me into a vampire. Shows that were a stand out for me was Charlies Angels, Karate Kid, Monkey Magic – I loved watching people kick ass. Was I an aggressive person? Not at all, I was very shy, non-athletic and had very low self-esteem. I liked watching action movies because the characters always looked like they were in control, they looked powerful and had a lot of self-confidence –everything that I wanted to be.

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I remember I ask my mum one day if I could do gymnastics and she told me she didn’t want me to  because I would end up with bruises all over me….well I showed her years later by starting martial arts. This was the encouragement that I got when it came to sports, my parents were not athletic so they didn’t know any different, well actually my dad loved all kinds sports but only watching them on TV, spending the whole weekend laying on the couch watching footy, cricket, car races, fishing – you name it he would watch it, much to my mothers disgust. I was on the school basketball team, but I didn’t enjoy it, I am not much of a team player. When I was in school, back in the day, it was compulsory to do sport and every chance that I got I would try to get out of it, I would always use my asthma as an excuse. I would fake wheezing, or tell them I forgot my puffer.

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So what drew me to martial arts? I have always been captivated with action movies and a couple of my past boyfriends had done martial arts so they would show me stuff and I always thought it was cool. Like so many women, I wanted to learn how to protect myself in case I was ever attacked. I started to look into it, and came across a self-defence course. I only went once for a trial and I knew straight away that it wasn’t for me. I think back now at the things he showed me – using a key to stab someone, kicking them in the groin, eye gauging, wax on wax off movement, oh and the best disarming a person that has a knife or gun!!! To me these courses are ridiculous, you are giving people a false sense of confidence in “skills” that a person after a 6 week course will never be able to be pull off in a real life situation. The instructor made me feel uncomfortable as well, he seemed a little too enthusiastic, too desperate – he was just a bit odd.

I believe if you want to learn self-defence you have to put yourself in uncomfortable/”bad” situations on a daily basis. That way if you were ever unlucky enough to be attacked hopefully you won’t panic under pressure.

One of my favourite quotes –

“You have to find comfort in uncomfortable situations. You have to be able to live your worst nighmare” – By Rickson Gracie

It took me a while to find something but eventually I found the place that I was searching for – stay tuned for part 2….

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Sugar Free Again Week 3 – trip to Albany and some BJJ


This week was interesting had to travel down south to Albany to catch up with some friends and train some BJJ with them. Staying at home, keeping a routine is easy when it comes to eating well and doing sugar free challenges but as soon as you leave that environment, you are on the road, routine is out the window it becomes very hard.

I left Perth at around 1pm to go for a journey for 4hours and 40mins and this doesn’t include toilet stops. I packed plenty of water, my breakfast for the next day and some savoury snacks for the road. I always get nervous doing this drive because a lot of people have died driving on this particular stretch of road. I must admit the roads are 100% better than what they used to be so the fatalities are not as extreme, so I am trying to convince myself.

Perth to Albany

Anyway I have discovered that listening to podcasts while driving long distance is not the best for me. I love listening to podcasts, everywhere I go in my car I am listening to podcasts but I noticed driving long distance the car is noisier so hard to hear and to concentrate on what people are saying or to follow a story was a bit hard. The first part of the journey was the longest, it felt like it took forever to reach the first major town, once I hit that the rest of the drive went pretty quickly.

I got to Albany about 5.30pm and arrived at my friends house pretty tired my motivation to then head out again to do BJJ was not high. My back was aching from sitting for so long, my elbow was aching from holding the steering wheel but I headed out anyway to meet up with some other friends. It was great to see them at their new gym and met a few new people who had started BJJ just recently. I was there for about an hour and half, chatted heaps and then as the sky starts to open up I headed back to my friends place to eat some food.

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My beautiful friend cooked me an amazing dinner honey chicken with lots of steamed veggies, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I couldn’t eat honey so I ate the food, it was brilliant. We then chatted for ages and by the time I hit the sack it was about 11pm or later – I was knackered.

I got up the next day to heated up my veggie, chicken, rice dish for my breakfast and had a cup of coffee. We got ready and then headed down to the foreshore and met up with the rest of the crew from the BJJ club for a coffee before heading to the club for some training.

We started training around 10am – we had the regular class and then ran the ladies only Babes n Belts class afterwards so we finished around 2pm. I was starving at this point. After the regular class they had a huge crate of fresh strawberries that was handed around for everyone to eat – it took all my strength to not have any. They looked and smelt divine. After the Babes n Belts session we headed to a burger joint, needed some protein so I had an egg & bacon burger minus the sauce, it was fantastic but I must admit the sauces added to burger make it more enjoyable.

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We then headed back to my friends place and I had a bit of a lie down, didn’t really sleep but at least I rested my body. We drove out to Denmark, a friend was having Halloween party out there and we were all camping out there over night. I set up a bed in the back of my car, the party was already kicking along by the time we got out there. I was limited on what I could eat and drink. I had a couple of sausages and a slice of bread and just drank water all night. Lollies were getting past around which I didn’t have but at one point I was starving and I had one slice of chicken pizza and I know there was sauce on it but I really needed to eat something.

I headed to bed about 2am my car was good to sleep in, a little lumpy and hard but it did the job. As soon as the sun came up I was awake, I’m guessing that was about 5.30am. I stayed in my car until about 7am and then I ventured out and joined the others that were up. They were going to organise another rolling session later in the morning but I had to get home, I had a 5 hour drive ahead of me with little sleep. So I headed into town, had some eggs on toast for breakfast, a coffee and then took off back to Perth. It was a long trip back but this time I played music which was a better choice of entertainment. By the time I got home I was shattered, I felt like I was jet lagged. So I chilled out on the couch for a while, when I got up I felt a lot better.

Traveling when you are limited on what you can eat is hard and I believe it didn’t help with my energy levels either. Being out of routine I am not eating the right foods to fuel my body properly to cope with the stress of travel and training but these are the things you have to deal with when you set yourself challenges.

Until next week….

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Filed under BJJ, Food, Health & Wellbing, Nutrition, Training, Travel