Mounting Frustration (Athlete Journal Entry 13)

Since I began competing in combat sports, this is the least technically, physically, and mentally prepared that I have ever been.

There are a lot of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments coming up. The Boston Open is this week, the New York Open is the week after that, and my frustration is reaching near maximum levels. I can honestly say that since I began competing in combat sports in 2006, this will be the least technically, physically, and mentally prepared that I have ever been. Every morning I wake up and I’m disappointed with the progress (or lack thereof) that I have made in the recovery from my latest injury. Although my chest strain is still causing a lot of problems, my back feels great and my staph infection is under control, so there’s something positive on the injury front.

I was really hoping to put my gi back on last week and at least do some drilling, but it was just not possible yet. Hopefully this week I can get back on the mat and drill a little. As I mentioned earlier, I am still going to compete this weekend, no matter what. Is this smart? Probably not, but being an idiot is something I can live with.

I did get into the gym for a little cardio on the fan bike and the rower on Monday and Saturday this past week, so I guess that’s a plus. I did some intervals to get my heart rate up and also some cardio for distance at lower intensity to burn some calories. Since I was unable to do any rolling or weightlifting to burn calories, I had to make some adjustments to my diet to keep my weight down. I cut about 350 calories out of my diet – nothing too drastic, just enough to keep from gaining any weight for Boston this week. I usually consume around 3,600 – 3,700 calories to keep my body weight at 217lb, but a lot of those 350 calories I cut out came from post-workout meals and supplements that I’m not taking right now anyway. This will also be good practice to get ready for the major adjustments I will have to make in order to get down to 208lb for the heavyweight division in the summer.

Another reason for my growing frustration has been the fact that last week I was notified that I have been added to the competitors list for the East Coast Classic in May. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do any weightlifting, either. I hate to start a new Olympic program the week between Boston and New York, but as soon as I am able to get back in the weight room, it’s on!

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