Athlete Journal: Jess Papi, Entry 19 – 2/8/2014

School is back in session starting this week, and it’s going to be a challenge trying to balance classes, training, and coaching. I’m trying to stay positive while I figure out how to manage it all!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the athlete journal of Jess Papi. Jess is a blue belt at Scranton MMA and also pursuing her degree in exercise science. Read her entries every week for insights on competing, training, and juggling BJJ and life.

This week was interesting. First off, I went back to school on Monday. I’m not very excited about it, but I’m going to try and make the best of it. It’s definitely going to be a challenge trying to balance school, training, and working at the gym. Even though I made it out alive last semester, it was still crazy hard to keep up with everything. Unfortunately I’ll probably have to cut back on my time at the gym in order to get all my school stuff done. Whether it’s training time or teaching time that has to be cut, I’m not sure yet. Whatever it is, I’m going to stay positive.

After all, wasn’t that supposed to be one of my New Year resolutions? Staying positive. I feel like this week I was so focused on school starting back up, and it made my attitude kind of sour. When I’m upset about one thing, everything else is affected. If I’m not doing well in school, I feel like crap when I’m training. If I don’t get a good night of training in, school is rough the next day. Luckily, my friend and coach Matt gave me one of his famous pep talks on Monday night. I’ve been feeling a little better since then.

In training news, I started working out with the guys at Driven Athletics. They’re set up in the same building as Scranton MMA, which is really convenient for us. They’re going to help a few of our competitors get stronger and faster for tournament season. I’ve been really excited to get started with this. I feel like all the major jiu jitsu athletes follow some type of strength and conditioning program. Now that I’m doing it too, I feel like a real athlete! I know only a few days of training doesn’t make much of a difference, but that’s how I see it in my head.

Along with school and S&C starting, we also began competition training sessions. I’m pumped for this because it means I’ll be back on the tournament scene soon! I decided that I won’t be competing this Saturday the 8th because my knee still doesn’t feel 100% back to normal. I’ve definitely been able to amp my training back up, but there are still some positions that make it feel weird. I don’t want to compete and risk making it any worse.

Although I’m not competing, I’ll still be traveling to Nyack, New York to coach one of our other competitors. It’s not often that I get to just sit back and enjoy watching jiu jitsu matches. Other than watching some jiu jitsu, I also get to see some of my New York friends. I’m definitely going to try and find the time to watch their matches and cheer for them as they kick ass! Traveling to train or compete is so much fun. If you’ve never done it, I would suggest hopping on that real quick. It could possibly change your whole outlook on jiu jitsu. In a good way, of course.

Well, I best be getting some shut eye. I have school in the morning! (rolls eyes) Have a nice week, everyone!

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