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Beware of the Gracie Plague!

Beware of the Gracie Plague!


Avoiding sickness on the mats...

It is the annual time of year where I start to evaluate my training partners a little bit differently. Normally, I always do a little bit of calculus based on body type before I start a roll.  In my head I have the monologue, “This guy is 90% legs; maybe I won’t bait a triangle from closed guard to pass.” Or “this guy has huge shoulders, I bet they are tight. Let’s test with some kimuras… This time of year I become a detective for something far more sinister.

I am not sure what it is about Jiu Jitsu gyms that make them a magnet for sickness around the holidays. Maybe it is we have a disproportionate number of first responders in comparison to the normal population. Maybe it is that we are in close physical contact with everyone we roll with. Whatever reason, every year people seem to drop from a super virus. Where I train we have given this virus a name, The Gracie Plague.

The first easy target to avoid is that guy sniffling. Sure he says it is only allergies.  But do I want to be in bed for the next two weeks in case he is wrong.  “Sorry buddy, I’ll catch you next time.”

Next, there is always an extra bit of small talk. “Hey buddy, how is the wife?”  The truth is his Facebook profile told me way too much information about his family. Great, you hare happily married with 2.5 kids. Congrats. But is everyone feeling well at home“Oh, little Johnny stayed home from school because of…Guess we will be rolling again next year.”

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I volunteer to wash the mats.  I am beyond liberal with my application of bleach. The gym smells like a public pool in July. I love it.

I bolster my supplements.  I get a flu shot.  I have copious amounts of Vitamin C coursing through my veins. I try things that I don’t even believe in.  Are you supposed to drink Essential Oils?

I come home from the gym and bathe like Lady Macbeth. I am halfway tempted to switch from my Jiu Jitsu soap to bleach. I am only joking about the bleach… I hope…

You would think that I would take some time off from Jiu Jitsu. The holidays are crazy enough time of year without adding mat time to the equation. Conventional wisdom would be to come back in January; about the same time everyone is quitting their New Year resolutions.  But I don’t. I treat the Gracie Plague like the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. However, even if it was the end of days, I would probably say to my wife, “Babe, I know we have to evacuate but are you cool if I swing by the gym and catch a few rolls…”

Certainly, this article is intended to be humorous. However if you are sick this holiday season, stay off the mats!!!

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