Saturday, November 20, 2010

Recovery, Rehab, and Coaching

It's been about 2 1/2 weeks since my shoulder surgery.

When I went to see the hip orthopedist he was SHOCKED that I had just had shoulder surgery one week prior. He couldn't believe how fast I was healing. And I'll tell you, neither can I!

I was back in the gym teaching my women's class barely 48 hours post-op but I couldn't lift my arm up at all. Can you believe, I was on Tylenol with codeine for only 3 days after surgery and have been completely off pain meds since about 5 days post-op?! I think I scare my therapist, lol!

Today I can lift my arm straight up and by myself to 160 degrees! Out to the side, I have a little more to go but it's probably up to 120 degrees now. We just started deltoid strengthening exercises yesterday at PT for the first time. And I can't wait until we can start with the biceps and triceps, because mine have completely atrophied.

The only bad thing with improving so quickly is that you can't rush the protocol, you can only go at the pace the doctor set, even if I'm a little ahead on recovery time. Oh and the other bad thing is that I keep forgetting I'm not supposed to do certain movements because it no longer hurts all the time...until I do the movement I'm not supposed to, like reaching back to put a seatbelt on or reaching into my back pocket. Then I get a sharp pain to remind me not to do that again...for a while at least. :)

But teaching Jiu-Jitsu is still difficult. Luckily, the women have been preparing for the US Grappling Women Only event in Hampton, Virginia tomorrow, so we've been doing a lot of straight drilling and less detailed technical work. The timing worked perfectly because I can just show a quick simple movement and then have them repeat it a lot as fast as they can.

Last night though I had to teach the regular class and specialty class and then the regular class again today because Ryan took Seph, Quang, and Ostap (visitor from Canada) up to NJ for the ADCC Trials and Rick's in Brazil. (The guys did well at ADCC, no one won their division, but they each won at least one match and everyone learned a lot and next time will be able to go out much stronger.)

Anyhow, it was difficult for me to show some of the movements in the regular class. We were working on the catching the trail leg mount escape to half guard to taking the back and I would have to show one movement on one-side then switch sides to show the next movement on the other side since I still can't put weight on or post on my arm. Luckily, the guys were all patient with me and everyone seemed to get the movement despite my difficulties in showing it.

Specialty class this month has been all footlocks, but I'm not great at them yet so Ryan wanted me to teach wrestling instead. Have you ever tried to teach wrestling with one arm???? It is sooo hard! Lol! Thankfully, most of the students there that day had experience with the snatch single so I could just remind them about the details rather than show everything. We also added the flare to double, and I think they picked it up pretty well. But my arm hurt like HELL by the end of class today so I went immediately home to attach myself to my ice machine for an hour before packing, picking Megan up, and driving down to our hotel here in Hampton.

Good luck to Megan, Tammy, and Lisa tomorrow!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Women's NoGi Worlds Results and my new website!

So, I was waiting to tell people about my website until it was 100% complete, but it's taking forever to confirm all the bios for all the historically important female black belts, so I'm giving up and taking the plunge...well, okay, so I'm just sticking my toes in and only announcing it here.

Please be patient with some of the pages still being updated, but check out my new resource for female grapplers, Grappling Girls Guild.

On my site I posted a quick write-up on the women's Brown/Black Divisions at the NoGi Worlds. Here

Please feel free to post here or email me with comments! :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

From women to kids and back

Alex started training with us this summer. She's a tiny sweet little 10 year old vietnamese girl with an incredible amount of focus, determination, and of course a heart of steel!

When I first told Ryan that we'd been approached by a parent who wanted his child to switch to our program, his answer was a definitive, "no". We weren't planning to start a kids program for a while and we didn't want any children in the adult class. But her dad told us she was a focused hard-worker. According to him, she was training in Judo and BJJ but he was unhappy that her BJJ class was geared towards younger children, expectations were low and she wasn't getting great training. Having spent 15 years as a swim coach, I was inclined to roll my eyes and look the other way when yet another parent came extolling the virtues of their child. But something about the discussion made me give her a chance. I guess I understood how frustrating it can be to watch adults overlook or teach down to kids when they are capable of learning and understanding as much as an adult if you only have the patience to try and speak their language.

Ryan and I decided that we would allow Alex come in and take one women only class for her trial. If she performed acceptably and was able to stay focused and work hard, then we would let her take the class until the time came to start the kids program. We were concerned that she would detract from the other women's opportunity to learn and train or that they (and she) would have difficulty with the size difference (she's only 60lbs). But when Alex came in for her trial, Ryan and I were both pleasantly surprised with her and with her interaction with the other women so we decided that she would be able to attend the women's class once a week.

The ladies have taken her under their wing and she works hard and pays attention to all the important details. Even though we had yet to see her train BJJ with another child, we decided a few weeks ago that she was ready to try a competition. And she did awesome! Alex won only 2 of her 5 matches but she went out and performed better every single time. We went over her mistakes after each match and then she went back out and fixed them ON THE SPOT. She was a different grappler by the last 2 matches of the day. I don't know if she will ever be a great high-level grappler, but it doesn't matter because she had a blast and represented herself, her family, and her team well. What I do know is that she has what it takes to be great at whatever she puts her mind to.

Lots of people cringe when I tell them we are about to start a kids program. All they see is hard work, frustration, screaming kids and crazy parents. I see the kids like Alex. The ones who know the pleasure they can derive from working hard, constantly improving, and succeeding in something worthwhile. The kids with the great attitudes that make you want to show up every single day. And I see the ones who need you to want to help them, the ones who need to learn how to find the inner peace that comes with hard work. I've been looking forward to getting this program off the ground for months and seeing how happy Alex was today, tells me that we are doing the right thing. She'll have to be my little helper while my arm and hip are healing and the other kids are learning, but with her as a role model, we have a good thing going.

November 29, 2010 - The Birth Of The 25/50's

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Post-Op Day 1

Well, I don't remember talking to him after surgery, but apparently my doc said that everything went swimmingly. I was out of surgery a little early so that's def a good sign!

Also, no asthma attack when I woke up this time (it was so scary after my last surgery, trying to wake up and unable to vocalize the words to tell the nurse that I couldn't breathe) so taking Prednisone in advance was definitely the way to go. Thanks for the advice, Mom!

The general anesthesia wore off faster this time so no issues being alert and eating while staying at my brother's house last night. I did take some Tylenol 3 before bed in case the local wore off early, but no problems at all so far. I can finally move my arm a little as the feeling is slowly coming back. It's sore, but certainly not the unbearable kind of sore like last time. I learned though to pre-empt the pain by taking the Tylenol 3 earlier this time. Lol!

My brother is taking me to my first PT appointment in an hour where they will take off the bandages and force me to start moving my arm. That will probably hurt a lot. Last time I couldn't help crying when the therapist started moving it around the first day. I just gritted my teeth and looked away and told her to go as far as she needed. Seems pretty tough of me at first when you hear that, but it hurt enough that I'm kinda dreading today, haha!

My doc's office (and PT) are all the way out here in Maryland, he's worth it, but it's why I decided to have my mom drop me at my brother's house instead of at home yesterday. Mike had to open all my pills before bed in case I needed them because in my stupidity I forgot to ask for the non-child proof caps when I filled my prescriptions the other day. He also fixed me dinner last night and lunch today, pretty cool for a big bro. If only he knew how to fix a ponytail. ;)

Ryan is coming to pick me up after PT and take me home and I can't wait to see him! By tomorrow I should be able to drive so I can take myself to the new PT place closer to my house. (The first post-op PT visit had to be scheduled at my doctor's office.)

This Saturday my 10yr old student is entering her first BJJ tournament and I am so excited to go coach her! She's gonna be a beast one day! :)