When You're Forced to the BJJ Sidelines
Missing BJJ Can Be Harder Than BJJ Itself
Being sidelined in the midst of your BJJ journey is quite frustrating. I found this out back in March when after class one night I passed out in my dining room. I’ve never had anything like that happen to me in my life. It was quite unnerving.
Why did it happen? At that point in my life I was in the in the best shape of my life. I was eating healthier than in the past, I was at a good weight, I was more active than I had ever been. So why now? Off to the ER I go. They did all the normal tests, EKG, Blood Work, CT scan, Blood Pressure Checks. The whole gambit. Only to come back to tell me everything came back ok. So what the heck?!?
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I was of course advised to follow up with my family Dr which I did. He had some concerns after listening to my heart and sent me for an Echo Stress Test. If you’re like me and never had any major issues you may not know what that all entails. The echo is an ultra sound of your heart, the stress test is getting on a treadmill with increasing speeds. As the Dr at the hospital was viewing the ultra sound he was talking with the nurses. All I heard him say was, “She’s not getting on the treadmill.” ? He looked at me and told me I was going to be staying with them for a few days explaining that the reason I wasn’t getting on the treadmill was that I had a hole in my heart. Aka ~ Atrial Septal Defect.
I was quite surprised to find out that I most likely had this condition since birth. How could they just be finding this now? I had physicals as a child and 4 children, natural births, where you would think somewhere along the line this would have presented itself. Noo let’s wait until I’m active and Healthy or so I thought...from that point forward it was Dr. appointment after Dr appointment. A cardiologist, who in the process of checking my ASD also found I had a lung condition! Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. A hematologist, because of course all the blood work they did found I had high level of blood platelets...anyway...I had to put my Jiu Jitsu on hold for at least a month due to all the tests and all the medication my body was adjusting to.
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It was one of the most aggravating times of my life. I wanted to be at the gym! I wanted to roll with my friends! I hated sitting on the couch and not being the active person I had become over the past 2 years! Every class picture and promotion picture I saw pop up on my Facebook made me miss it even more. Even though I couldn’t make it to the gym I was still very active with BJJ, I watched A LOT of videos and read A LOT of articles to keep my interest in BJJ growing. Every visit to the Dr ended with can I resume Jiu Jitsu? When I finally got the ok to return it was with limitations. No Rolling...UGH!! That was one of my favorite parts of Jiu Jitsu! I took what I could get and I started going back a few days a week, taking it easy and just doing classes. I did what I could control and a pace I felt was safe.
However watching my teammates roll and not being able to take part was frustrating so I slowly incorporated some light rolling with some of my most trusted teammates that I knew I could manage a few minutes of time to give me back the thrill of live rolling and curb that craving I had for one of my favorite aspects of BJJ. Being sideline isn’t a reason to quit! It’s a resting place! It’s a hurdle to run up to and at the right time jump over. Im back to the gym at least 4 days a week and I do multiple classes on the days when I can get there there on time to do so. If I feel up to it I’ll roll. If I feel my body can’t handle it I’ll just take class and be satisfied with that.
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So if you happen to have to take some time off use it to your benefit. Watch videos, go to the gym and watch if you’re able and just remember Set backs are temporary.. The time it takes to recover and return outweigh quitting and the regret that comes with it. You’ll feel like yourself on the mats in no time and you’ll forget you were ever on the sideline. Always go back and always do what you can when you’re there! You’ll soon find you can do more and more with each class and you will once again be grinning from ear to ear in the Family Photos if only to prove to yourself...You are not a quitter!
One of the absolute best things you can do when you have to take some time off for whatever reason is to stock up on instructional material. If you can't be on the mats, use the time wisely and spend some time studying a new position or approach to BJJ that you can put into place when you get back! With that in mind, you will want to check out Tom DeBlass' High Tech BJJ in the Gi instructional! You can get it here at BJJ Fanatics!