Back on the Mats During Finals Week (Athlete Journal 62)

Jess Papi


Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


Finals week is kicking my butt, but my elbow feels much better and I’m back to regular training again.


Back on the Mats During Finals Week (Athlete Journal 62) - Fitness, college, BJJ, athlete journals, brazilian jiu jitsu



Finals and a Long Break

It’s finals week at the University of Scranton, which is good and bad at the same time. It’s bad because I’ve had to stay up way past my bedtime every night this week to study and finish up some last-minute assignments. It’s good because after I’m done taking my finals I get six whole weeks off from school!


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I love having a long winter break. It gives me enough time to mentally recharge for next semester. It also means I get to train as much as I want and no one can stop me.


Back to Rolling

Speaking of training, I’m finally back to rolling again. My elbow isn’t 100% better just yet, but it’s good enough to start pushing myself. It’s still a little sore if I extend it fully, but I don’t do much of that type of motion anyway. As long as no one puts it in an armbar, I’ll be fine.


"I completely forgot about my injury and rolled like no one’s business. I was passing and sweeping, and I even stood up at one point and hit a decent double leg."

Monday was my first day back to speed drills and rolling. For the past couple of weeks I hadn’t been training like I normally do, so my endurance decreased a lot. I was so excited to get back to training hard that I didn’t even take that into account. I went as fast as I could while I was drilling and it got my heart pounding out of my chest. I felt like I was going to throw up after doing that. I probably should have eased my way back into it, but I was just so excited. It’s going to be a challenge to get my endurance back to where it was, but I’m up for it.




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My first roll after the hiatus was a blast. I went in feeling cautious about my elbow, but at about one millisecond into the roll I didn’t even care. I completely forgot about my injury and rolled like no one’s business. I was passing and sweeping, and I even stood up at one point and hit a decent double leg. I did a lot more than what I thought I could do. I was huffing and puffing the whole time because I’m so out of shape, but I still had a lot of fun.


What's Next?

For the next couple of weeks I will be focusing on getting back in fighting shape. My goals are to get my cardio back to where it was, keep up on lifting weights and getting strong, and keeping up on stretching after class. Honestly, the hardest one will be remembering to stretch. I like yoga and I want to be flexible, but it takes up so much time. I always feel like I could be doing something more important. But stretching is important and I have to keep that in mind.


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I’m actually excited to work on my cardio, though. It’s something that I took for granted when I was rolling on a regular basis, but I’m eager to get my heart pumping and get a good workout in every day.


Before I close, I would like to congratulate every from Scranton MMA who competed at the UGC King of the Mat tournament last Saturday. Everyone did an awesome job and I was proud to coach them that day. The team did so well that they won the first place team title! Very cool.


Thanks for reading. Until next week!


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.


Photo courtesy of D-Kline Design Photography.

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