My First Real Time Away

On August 8, I was teaching an early morning BJJ class. I was filling in for the main instructor. We had a few people getting ready for Worlds so we sparred the entire time. I wanted to up the intensity a bit, so the last 5 or so minutes were 1 minute rounds where people were pushing because you only had 1 minute to do anything.

We then finished with a bit of fun and did some sumo to round out the class. We had a couple belts down on the mat and the goal was to push, pull or otherwise force your opponent out of the circle.

Just as I was about to force my guy out, he got me to step out and as I did he came down on my foot. He immediately asked if I was ok and I said “Yeah” because I didn’t even think anything had happened. As I walked to the edge of the mat, my foot really started to hurt. By the time I got to work, I decided I was going to go home and rest it. When I got home my wife said she was taking me to urgent care.

Unfortunately, urgent care wasn’t that helpful. They said nothing was broken and it should get better in a few days. And, to be fair, it did get better but it didn’t completely heal.

After about a month I finally went to the doctor and found out I had 2 sprained ankle ligaments and plantar fasciitis. I was in a walking boot for 3 weeks.

So all told, I was away from the gym for about 8 weeks. It was the first time I’d been out of the gym for more than a week or two in my 7 years training. And I always wondered what that would be like.

Would I be dying to get back? Would I be really antsy or grouchy while at home? Would I count the seconds until the boot came off? Would I not care and never go back? I didn’t know, but I’d wondered.

In the end, it wasn’t a situation where I was dying to get back. I wasn’t coming home each day frustrated that I couldn’t go to the gym and train.

Once the boot came off, I gave myself a week of normalcy to make sure my foot was ok before I headed back. And when I went back it was interesting. It was really good to be back at the gym. It was great to talk to people I hadn’t seen in a couple months. It was enjoyable to train. I had truly missed it, and I was glad to be back.

And I started thinking about it, that shouldn’t have been a surprise for me. That’s kind of how I am. I don’t often get excited about things, and I don’t often get bummed out by things. I like routine. And that was part of the experience for me. I wasn’t dying to get back, but when I did, everything felt good and right. And it made me think that I’ll probably be training BJJ and Judo for as long as my body allows me to. Not because I can’t live without it right now, but because I enjoy just being at Mid-America and training.

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