Back to the Grind (Athlete Journal 44)

I jumped right back into training this week, and I’m glad I did. I’ve also been having success with setting small daily goals for my training.

After taking silver in the New York Summer Open, I got right back into training on Monday. I was still pretty sore, but I knew that I definitely wanted to get back to the grind as soon as possible.

If I had taken an extra day or two off from training, I feel like the process would have been slow and tedious. Plus, there isn’t a lot of time until the Boston Summer Open at the end of August, so I need all the training time I can get!

This Week’s Training

This week at Scranton MMA, Frank focused on showing us some techniques from de la Riva guard. He showed both sides of the coin: sweeps, and passes. I liked the way he chained everything together. Playing de la Riva guard is not my strong suit, so I wasn’t having a lot of fun drilling the techniques. I seriously need to work on it though, so I stuck it out. I ended up learning a few tips that I think will help me. Luckily, I understand the guard enough to know how to pass it when I need to. It’s just the playing part that needs work.

I was lucky to get in a lot of rolling this week. I’m not a huge fan of drilling moves, but I could always get a couple rounds of rolling in. I’m still setting goals almost every day before I start training. It helps me feel like I’ve accomplished something for the day. Instead of getting stressed about accomplishing long-term goals, I’m able to challenge myself every day, but on a smaller, easier-to-handle scale. Training with small goals in mind keeps me sane for sure. I’m the type of person who takes on too many responsibilities at once and then gets too stressed to function. I might try to use this small goal-setting technique for school when it starts back up.

This was also a great week for strength and conditioning. I’m currently training twice a week at NEPA Fit Club/Driven Athletics and it’s going great. We usually stick to a certain set of exercises every day and switch up sets, reps, and weight. This week I was excited to add in sled pushes. It was a challenge for my legs muscles and my lungs. Pushing weight across a rough surface for five sets (one set being down and back) definitely had my lungs and leg muscles burning like crazy. I can’t wait until my next session so I can do it again!

Other than training and teaching classes, I didn’t do much else this week. It was pretty normal and relaxed as always. I’ve been thinking lately that I really need a trip to the beach, but with my training and teaching schedule, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to this summer (she said with a sad face). I’m hoping I’ll be able to get there for at least a weekend, but it’s not a big deal if it doesn’t happen.

I hope you’re all having a great week, and if you got to go the beach this summer, just know I’m super jealous of you!

Jess Papi 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.

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