Week two of my journey started with Quarantine.
Week Two: “Health Department”
If week one didn’t go as planned, week two has mounted week one against the cage and is ground and pounding it. I was ready after being quarantined for having flu like symptoms and unable to train till my covid results came back. I was so ready I even bought two more Venom Jiujitsu Gi’s so I would have enough fresh Gi’s to get me through the week of hard training. However, for a second week, life said lets see how much you want it.
Working for Fire and EMS, we are constantly dealing with changing environments and especially the covid pandemic going on. Week one I possible had covid but week two, one of our Officers working in a different station tested positive for covid. Because of him testing positive, our department policy is that anyone that has come in contact with him for longer than 15 mins and has been within 6 feet of that person has to be quarantined until they take a test showing they are negative for covid. This meant all three shifts that cover that station were quarantined and those shifts had to be covered by the rest of us. Long story short, it’s Saturday and I’m on my sixth day straight of working. To most people, you’re probably thinking, shit that’s only one more day than a normal work week for them. However, for us a work day is a whole shift which consists of 24 hour shifts; 0700 to 0700 the next morning. I’ve worked six of those in a row with the legal 12 hours they have to give us off after working 3 days straight. In that time all you really have time to do is wash all your uniforms, pack more food, and try to get some real sleep before being back at the station the next morning.
This makes it really hard to train for a tournament because you literally can’t get any time on the mats. I have spent most of my free time at the station watching instructional videos and trying to focus on videos of areas I know I need to work on. I also watched videos of techniques that I find work well with my body type and natural muscle memory on the mat. One video, I especially liked was this video by Marcelo Garcia - “Combinations and Sequencing.” He talks about starting from a standing position like you would in a tournament and using the techniques you feel good with until you get to the submission. For example, starting from standing and deciding your takedown. Then from where you land on the mat following the takedown to your typical position; ie. Side-mount, mount, rear mount, half-guard, etc. Then continuing to transition threw your own sequence till you get your submission. Doing this over and over to get that muscle memory and learning to think a step ahead. This helped me to training in my head and visualize my sequences while I’m at work. When I’d be at stations that had a gym, I’d make sure to do a full body workout and stations that didn’t have one I’d bring my resistance bands do a 100 reps for each muscle group. Lastly, I’d focus on my nutrition and eat as well as I could. This was easier since most times I was either too busy or tired to eat. Lol
The unfortunate part of all this that I’ve found a way to work through, my friends from the gym messaged me letting me know that the State Health Department shut down the tournament; so there will once again be no final test of my dedication and love for this part of my life.
However, a wise man once said, “When life gives you lemons, I say fuck the lemons and bail.” - Forgetting Sarah Marshall. So I immediately went online to the tournament website to confirm this would be the case and sign up for the next available tournament. The silver lining to all this now is that I have more time to prepare and use all that I’ve been learning to strengthen those weak areas in my game. Let's go week three! OSS