Thank you for joining me!

Welcome to the Happy Grappler. The key to a consistent practice is joy. As an aging athlete, I continue to seek out methods that help to keep a smile on my face, relatively fit and pain free. This is my mental graffiti. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Year ago...

Greetings tribe! Many apologies for the delayed posting, but time flies when you are kicking the soda habit!

One year ago, my bleoved wife suggested writing a blog and even suggested the name, and here it is with its first trip around the sun!

Writing has been a very interesting process for me. I am a long winded talker, however, when I write, the result is much more concise. In fact, I typically end up not writing some essential components and periodically miss things here and there. Writing this blog has helped me articulate lots of ideas and has really helped my jiujitsu. How so? When intriguing ideas hit me and they begin to germinate in my head, I also begin to research those deas and inevitably I stumble across something that helps express the idea more or takes it to another level. Writing this blog has also contributed to my personal evolution, as I have embarked upon quests to become a better person (my recent embarcation of monthly challenges) and help spread the love of BJJ and the things that I find to be personally rewarding.

Speaking of personal challenges...

As you may or may not know, this month is the month of "No-soda-vember" and I have ditched the soda habit completely for this month. It has been an interesting venture. First of all, I crave soda...BAD! This has helped me to temper and learn to deal with cravings that might verge on the level of addiction. I have also had an interesting effect on my process of elimination. My "end results" (*ahem* no real polite way to talk about poop) have increased in volume. This may be anecdotal, but so far it suggests that even diet soda may bind excess food and prevent it from being eliminated. It also suggests that I was much more dehydrated than I ever thought. Drinking more water has been an essential pursuit, even after jiujitsu training. When I rushed to drink electrolyte, BCAA and other beverages after training, I should have been drinking more water. I have been drinking the occasional wine with dinner and that has also been very beneficial to my feeling of health both physical and mental. I don't know, man made carbonation may, in fact, be the devil.

I have done a few (2) bas rutten thai boxing workouts here and there (in the month of November), but I have kept up with the yoga practice. This has also been very revealing. Now with the yoga, I have also experienced some physical benefits, but also mental benefits as well. I would like to attend more organized classes in the future, but so far my flexibility has increased substantially and so has my core strength. These improvements have paid off dividends as far as the bjj practice goes. BJJ is all about working through the challenge of adversity with a partner. Yoga is that exact same practice, but without a partner. Approaching difficult positions, but doing it calmly, has reped tremendous benefits. It also takes a lot of time to improve the mobility of joints, tendons and ligaments. Muscles improve much more quickly, but it takes a while to improve to work out the pesky areas that inhibit athletic movement. I think I may stick with the yoga for a long time to come.

As far as future challenges, I believe December will be attempting a nightly routine of Taiji and Qigong before bedtime as an experiment to improve sleep quality. As a lifelong poor sleeper and insomniac, I have had to take medication before bedtime for a long time. We will see if this next experiment will be as successful as the previous primal, yoga and soda experiments.

BJJ has been both rewarding and a struggle for me lately. I was awarded with my 3rd stripe on the purple belt yesterday officially pushing me past the halfway mark to brown. I am also working on letting positions just happen and "flowing with the go" as much as possible. I am also continuing to train No Gi one time per week and that continues to be a steep learning curve for me. I tend to want to slow the game down and maybe working at a faster pace is exactly what I need.

Tomorrow is my wife's birthday. Happy Birthday, baby!

From the video vault: With the holiday's rapidly upon us, stress will soon be on the rise. Here is my absolute favorite youtube based stress reduction meditation. Because there is binaural beats, put on headphones to get the most benefit. Stay happy!

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