Bulged Discs, Pulled Muscles, and Staph Infections – Oh My! (Athlete Journal Entry 12)

2014 has gotten off to a rocky start, but that’s not going to stop me from competing in BJJ and Olympic weightlifting.

It’s only March and this year I have already suffered a bulging disc in my back, a pulled muscle in my chest wall, and last week I noticed an awesome staph infection engulfing my right hand. 2014 continues to challenge me with obstacles to overcome, but like many sports, this is just how it goes in Brazilian jiu jitsu.

My injury from last week is definitely improving. I am able to move around much better, but am still very sore and won’t be able to get back on the mat for at least another week. I do feel confident that I will be okay to compete in the Boston Open in two weeks. It will just be unfortunate because I may not even get to train until then. However, it won’t keep me from competing. As I’ve mentioned before, this is just how it goes, and if I only competed when everything was perfect, then I would only compete once a year.

Even though I have decided to move down to the heavyweight division, I will still have to compete in the super heavyweight division at the Boston Open and New York Open. I am too heavy right now to lose enough weight in time. Not only will I not be able to make the heavyweight division in two weeks, but since I can’t train at all right now, I will be close to the super heavyweight limit. With a gi on I can’t weigh more than 217lbs in order to compete in the super heavyweight division, and right now I’m at 220lbs. This means I will have to go to the gym and do the worst thing I can think of, and that’s use the cardio equipment to try and burn some calories and keep my weight down.

I’m obviously still not back on track with my weightlifting, but I will probably be able to start that back up before I can get back on the mat. I did get some great news regarding my weightlifting. Someone dropped out of the East Coast Classic and I got moved off of the waiting list and on to the competitors list. This is a little bittersweet, since I can’t even train right now, but I am excited nevertheless.

With a week that saw me unable to train due to injury, there were some new developments and reasons to be optimistic. I will continue to rest and try to get rid of this infection so I can get back on the mat and in the weight room as soon as possible.

James Kearns is an active Brazilian jiu jitsu competitor and also trains and competes in Olympic weightlifting.Follow his journals here every week.

Photos courtesy of D-Kline Design Photography.