Walking and weeping

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Freeing the body inevitably leads to freeing the heart. –Gabrielle Roth

My cat died yesterday. He has been on borrowed time for several years now, so I thought I was prepared (as prepared as one can be for such a thing), but it is really hitting me hard. Could not do Thursday class. Cried a lot, which I do very rarely, and I hate it- partly because it plays hell with my already-awful sinuses. Now I am going to be congested as hell and headachey for days, even if I wasn’t STILL crying off and on, which I am.

I have been walking every day with the dogs. Several shortie trips up and down the neighbors’ road over the course of a day, to pee, plus one long walk/hike every morning, lasting an hour or two. We have been hitting many of the trails and parks along the Highway 2 corridor from Monroe to Stevens’ Pass. Today we did the Heybrook Lookout trail.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Warmed up by rolling a little with Peter. His grips are getting scary good, along with everything else. I was able to keep him off me for a while with good spider guard, though.

We drilled several leg drag passes. They were interesting ones, too, that I have not done before, but forgive me- I am just too fucking tired and weepy to notate them tonight. I think I did well by just going to class tonight and not crying on the mat.

Once again I have gotten out of the habit of staying after class to roll. Just so damn tired. I need to use a wet paper towel to cool off my face and then just sit for five min, and then I will almost certainly be good to go for at least one.

I have finally made a doctor’s appointment regarding the fact that I can’t fall asleep and can’t stay asleep for more than 40 min at a time. I haven’t slept more than two hours and change per night for a couple of months now, and that broken into 3 or 4 pieces. I am going to ask for a non-addictive, temporary course of sleeping pills. I am also going to ask to try an anti-anxiety medication. I do not want to be on drugs. I do not want to be officially diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I have resisted this for so long, and I am really unhappy about it, but I am convinced that I have a brain chemistry imbalance. The fact that my mind won’t ever stop spinning like a mouse on a wheel is certainly contributing to- if not causing- my sleep issues. This cannot continue- sooner or later I am going to make a serious error at work or behind the wheel, and someone else is going to suffer because of my resistance to getting help. I need to get it together before that happens. The appointment is on Tuesday morning.

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The Dog Workout

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Giving in to the urge to tell someone to fuck off can have lifetime results. Odds are good this guy will be out of your face and life in a few moments. But if you give in to the impulse, well, remember every time you “play”, you’re taking a chance. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Well, it was not the caffeine. Nor the sugar.

I stayed on one soda per day (first thing in the morning) for a week.. Hardly any sugar, either. There was not one iota of change in my sleep patterns, my anxiety level, my energy level, or my weight. I am going to have to go to the doctor. Upside: now I can have my Dr Pepper, since I have proven that it doesn’t do a damn thing to me.

Went hiking with CK last week- Twin Falls and Deception Creek. We were both tired, and not pushing hard physically. On her last day, we did a little stance work. Once again, just STANDING with CK is more exhausting than sparring with anyone else.

I got the dog on Wednesday. Well, dogS…. because I have White Knight Complex, I was unable to say no to the elderly dog’s elderly buddy… and I consider myself damn lucky to have not ended the week with all three of them. The second dog is a foster- meaning I do not have to pay his vet bills. I have too many pets right now. It is a stressor. But they are all elderly or special-needs or both, and let’s be real- chances are that one or another of them will kick off soon and I will be back to four, which is a number I feel I can cope with.

We are doing a ton of walking (which was part of the point of obtaining a dog). Up and down the neighbor’s driveway, mostly, a ten-minute dirt-road stroll through the woods. Yesterday we walked for two hours around Al Borlin Nature trail and downtown Monroe (where we were attacked by a purse dog). Today we went to Big Eddy, which is only about 1.5 miles from my place.

The dog I picked is exactly what I wanted. She basically walks when I want to walk, and otherwise she is napping and completely unobtrusive and undemanding. It’s like having a hiking buddy that you take out of a drawer when you want to walk, and then put away when you are done. The foster is proving to be more high-maintenence (no good deed goes unpunished). He’s a dear, but he has a dismaying amount of energy for an elderly dog, and is constantly in my face. Tonight he was dragging me along on the leash (he wanted to RUN!!!), and when I tried to wear him out afterward with rowdy playing in the dog run, he wore ME out instead. Well, he is certainly going to be forcing me to get plenty of extra walking. It’s going to be challenging for me to try to keep up with him, and even more challenging for my poor dog (who is game, but arthritic, and her legs are about half the length of his).

Thursday evening no-gi in Bellevue. It was fun to drill with Peter.

Pummelling, double-leg setups, Standing guard passes. Standing guard pass to KOB. Standing guard pass to KOB to back take. Two or three variations of the bottom person trying to defend, and the top person switching gears and completing the pass in a different way. I would have liked to get down the details of these, but I didn’t blog it last night like I should have, and now the details are escaping my mind.

King of the hill: pass vs sweep, pass vs resist/submit. I got spanked; I drew exclusively very talented people. I did achieve one guard pass on a guy which surprised me. I hope he didn’t hand it to me.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Drill-Till-Ya-Puke night. All from standing guard passes, which is a real bitch on my knees (and my thighs). Standing guard pass to KOB. Standing guard pass to KOB to armbar. Standing guard pass to KOB to kimura. After working with each of these for a few minutes, we drilled each 100 times. I had to hustle to keep up with Chrisanne, whose Monkey Bar Gym work and clean eating have me eating her dust. My thighs are on fire. I did well with remembering to grab the pants on the armbar. Also worked on pinching my knees together, a persistant failing of mine. I did less well with the kimura. I get lazy with the grips, especially when I am tired and trying to go fast. The many, many, fast standing guard pass reps put me in a dangerous place- when I get really tired, I am prone to rolling my ankle out and twisting it badly. I did that tonight, but fortunately it was not too severe- I was able to continue, and it’s not swelling or aching much at all later (thank you gods).

Chrisanne and I had wanted to spar after, but we were both too wiped out.

My thighs are going to be twin pillars of pain in the morning. Not looking forward to being hauled along that dirt road, but it will be the best thing for them. (A little hair of the dog, har har.)

Day one of one-a-day

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What you do instead of your work is your REAL work. –Roger Ebert

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup: opponent has both hands laced behind your neck. You lace your hands over hir elbow, chicken-wing your arm out and step to that side. This twists hir spine uncomfortably and makes it easier for you to move your hands inside and grab behind hir neck instead.

Next, we went from the chicken–wing-and-sidestep to a double-leg. Note that you must plaster yourself right against the opponent and slide down hir body, otherwise you will not be close enough. Hug just above the knees.

Opponent is turtled in front of you. Sprawl, crossface, sash grip around chest, switch far knee in, pull opponent into your back mount. Three notes: 1)don’t forget to grab the wrist at the end. 2)You must make sure your shin is pressing against opponent before you start to pull hir over, and kick that baby under *as* you are pulling. If you wait till after you have hir capsized, it’s too late to shove that foot under. 3)Try to dive in a diagonal direction over the shoulder instead of pulling opponent sideways. I continue to find myself subconsciously resistant to this, as I keep feeling like I am just going to slither my tiny self over hir shoulder to plop onto the mat while s/he continues to turtle there like a rock. This doesn’t make logical sense, because if THAT is how it is, I am not going to be able to haul this person sideways either. I have nothing to lose and a slightly better chance of succeeding if I go on the diagonal. I found it slightly more palatable if I made a point of shoving the shoulder aggressively to the mat as I went.

King Of The Hill, sweep versus pass (any guard, choice of the “king”). I didn’t do all that great, but I was overmatched by everyone (they all outranked me except for one big muscley white belt).

I’m doing it. I am going- not quite cold turkey, but- one pop per day (first thing in the morning). This is day one. I am jonesing badly, but it helps that I have no Dr Pepper left in the house (just A&W root beer, which is great, but not quite as bad of a trigger). I also took the A&W out of the fridge- it is not so tempting when it is warm, and I have no ice.

I want to do this experiment to try to figure out if it will help my crappy sleep any. Also, I am wondering if the sugar-induced glucose roller coaster is contributing to the fact that I feel exhausted all the time. This latter question involves ALSO cutting down on solid junk food. That’s going to be extra-challenging. Usually when I’m trying to reduce my pop, I console myself with extra junk food, and vice versa. I don’t like being at this weight. I don’t like being exhausted all the time. I don’t like not being able to get to sleep, and I don’t like waking up every couple of hours when I *do* manage to get to sleep. I don’t like getting up feeling even more exhausted than when I went to bed. I don’t like the idea of going to the doc and getting on some drug to try to get some sleep.

A double dose of Dave

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The guys who are the most dangerous are usually the ones who- to use a poker term- have the smallest “tells”. It’s not the wild-eyed, drooling-in-your-face mad dawg who’s the most dangerous. (Although odds are good such a person will beat you bloody if you give him an excuse.) Be far more concerned about the guy who doesn’t seem concerned about your “message” of what a big bad ass you are. Take for example the guy who- calmly- leans back in his chair and keeps his voice level- while his hand floats out of sight under the table. If someone isn’t getting uptight about your threat displays, odds are you dun tree’d yourself a bad ‘un. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Saturday lunchtime no-gi in Kirkland. Cindy was not there because she was at a seminar, but it was very nice to see Dave… and Dave… again.

I haven’t been to a Dave class in a long time, and it was amusing as heck to see how much he is turning into Cindy. Not just the way he moves, but his SPEECH PATTERNS as he teachers are mimicking hers. It’s a compliment. I’d love to be able to turn into Cindy. I doubt I have the raw material, though!

Standing guard pass vs replace open guard drills, standing guard pass to KOB drills, standing guard pass to KOB to stepping over the head and going to KOB on the other side. Note that when you step over, your shin should be touching the hip already.

Front mount to setting up what looks like it’s going to be a mounted triangle, but then turns into an armbar. You do not need to step over and lie down. Dave placed his shin on the opponent’s face. I hate kneeling on my partners’ faces. The girl I was working with had no problem doing so to me. Thus her mounted triangle position and armbars were nice and tight, and mine were loose because I was trying to be gentle. Good for her, you go girl!

Positional sparring from front mount. Retain vs sweep/escape.

The woman asked what belt I was, and I told her that this is no-gi, so it doesn’t matter. I was trying to fly under radar for the people I didn’t know (I like that we are not pressured to wear belts for no-gi at Kirkland), and I kept having to stop myself from automatically going to the front of the line when we lined up at each break. I did notice that after we did the positional sparring, when we lined up again, my partner deliberately moved over to my left to put herself- not me- at the end of the line.

Spars with my female partner, a guy I don’t know, then Dave (the other one). I was able to control the woman easily. I was able to defend getting tapped by the guy, although I spent considerable time under side control. Dave is always nice to me and refrains from tooling me when we spar, but I got several chokes on him that were *almost* taps. I continue to stick my feet under people’s armpits begging them to ankle lock me, and I should know better than to do that with DAVE, as he loves attacking feet.