Friday, August 27, 2010

Cross-Training - Who Loves You, Jiu Jitsu? I Do!!!

As noted, today is a "rest day". That doesn't mean you rest. It means you cross-train! Bluntly put ... if you don't cross-train, you suck. If you want to "not suck" and cross-train, pick something that you love. If you don't love your cross-training, you won't do it. For me, that love is brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Today was good cross-training. I learned something new and revisited a couple of old friends. I refer to technique and not people. I'm the old one at Team Quest. Days like this make me want to just lay on the mats all day, hang out with my brothers and sisters at Team Quest and soak it in. Yeah, I'd grapple too.

However ... as in all relationships, some days are a bit darker. Some days you can be distracted and go through the motions despite your good intentions. The point is the love of the thing got you there, and the rest takes care of itself. You've cross-trained!

So, those of you familiar with the symbol of the yin and yang will know that it represents balance. See below:

Both black and white are separate but together they are complementary and are harmonius. Jiu-jitsu is "familia" - just sounds more fun to say "familia" rather than "family". Back to my point. Jiu-jitsu is communal and, by its very nature, cannot be enjoyed alone. You can't grapple with yourself! Maybe emotionally, spiritually or philosophically, but not physically. That requirement for community makes it unique amongst martial arts. And so, I cross-train with my Familia at Team Quest. It's o.k. to feel jealous if you are not a part of this Familia.

Feel the jealousy yet? Now read on...

In contrast, I train to run the Redding Marathon on January 16, 2011. I make exceptions, but I prefer to run alone. Being completely and utterly alone suits me despite the fact that my wife has forced me to father seven children.

*** You know where to send the hate mail! ***

A fringe benefit of the loneliness of the long distance runner (notice the Iron Maiden song reference) is that you naturally tune out everything around you. It's all heart and mind. The ability to "tune out" is also a parental coping and marriage saving skill. Can you tune out an obnoxious child or perhaps an angry spouse? I can! Thank you running.

The solitary nature of running and the communal nature of jiu-jitsu are complementary. Spending time with one increases the desire for the other. Kind of like when you are sitting on the couch switching off between Dorritos and ice cream or switching between girlfriends. Get it? Harmony! That is cross-training in a nutshell.

Now, on to tomorrow's 7.5 mile run. At about 9:30 in the a.m., I'm going to put on some Nikes and put my foot on the neck of that run. I'll let it up off of my "mat" when I'm damn good and ready, and I won't be tired. I'm going to follow it with about 12 beers at the annual football barbecue. Yep, bang it there folks - 12 beers! Granted they will likely be wussy beers as follows:

But, who's is the last man standing ... well ... I am!

Getting back to the run, I've planned a playlist for this run on my Ipod. I need an hour of music, so I have to choose wisely. Some highlights to this playlist along with commentary are:

1. Road to Madness by Queensryche. 9:41 of sometimes ambient and sometimes kick you in the gut heavy-metal. This is a real band. Compare, for example, Bon Jovi. Mr. Bon Jovi ... you are on my Ipod just because I'm too cheap to delete you, but you damn sure won't make a playlist.

2. Rhythm of Love by The Scorpions. Awesome song. Guaranteed that when it comes on, I'm gonna think about my wife. The Scorpions were the soundtrack to our first kiss. I'm also gonna think about the bastard that broke into my car that same night and stole my Scorpions cassette. If I find you, you !*&!, I'm gonna hurt you.

PS: The District Attorney may consider this Exhibit A to the prosecution that will surely result. My defense? Jackass should have taken the Bon Jovi, and we wouldn't have had a problem, would we?

3. Today My World Slipped Away by George Strait - If you don't like George Strait or if you aren't willing to like him soon, you aren't American, and I don't know you. Nuff said.

4. Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Beddingfield - Don't judge me!

Post-run update to follow early next week. Perhaps you are wondering what the training nexus is for the beer drinking? It's called carbo-loading ...


  1. Digging the countdown timer!

    We all shake hands at the end of TKD class. It's a nice ritual and creates that sense of community you discuss above.

    BTW, I thought carbo-loading was a pre (not post) run kinda thing!

  2. I knew you would ask that! My only comment is that it was carbo-loading for a run that is to occur today but didn't need any carbo-loading. OK, I'll just admit I was in the mood to party with my in-laws!

  3. Awesome - I really like seeing Jiu-Jitsu as a communal event. This is a great insight and perspective into the inexplicable nature of the art. Thanks Brother!!