a Cheap Holiday

Cheap Holiday

Welcome to a cheap holiday in my life. At least you get to go home at the end of the day!

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Last night, dearest Rachel invited me to attend her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. I had taken a couple of sample BJJ classes in Philly, but had decided against joining that particular studio, largely because it is such a far drive for me. I have not been in a martial arts studio on a weekly basis for almost 3 years and I'm still carrying 20 more pounds than I ought. Looks like I know what my New Year's resolution is going to be.

I browbeat Rachel in attending the cardio portion of the class, something which she tends to avoid. I was feeling particularly cocky, as I had been doing regular aerobics and leg workouts. This cockiness, however, came to be gravely misplaced, as the instructor proceeded to run us ragged with jogging, high knees, sliding steps, pushups, crunches, and other forms of torture at a blistering pace for 15 minutes. More than once, I felt in danger of losing what little I had eaten for dinner, a sure sign that your heartrate is being pushed too high. As I flopped, red-faced and heaving, next to Rachel to do the last set of pushups, she whispered to me, "This is not as bad as it usually is."

One reason I've had difficulty fully embracing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is that it is almost entirely a grappelling style and I come from Tae Kwon Do and American kickboxing, both striking styles. So to have someone sit on your chest for 10 minutes at a stretch to learn holds, breaks, chokes, and arm bars is a tad intimidating. I'm used to being both vertical and at a distance from my opponent. This is not even a gender-specific issue - I could care less whether it's a woman or a man sitting on top of me, I just don't like someone sitting on top of me. Maybe I was tickle-tortured too much by my brother when I was a child.

However, if I was to have anyone sitting on top of me, it would be Rachel. After all the cardio, we're both a bit floppy when we kneel down to sit on each other. She managed to strain her wrist a touch earlier in the evening and halfway through the class I felt the ligaments in my left hip get a bit twitchy. Goddamn this getting old shit.

As Rachel and I are practicing some sort of rolling and blocking maneuver (God, how can anyone remember the names for all these moves?), I come to learn the wisdom behind her recent haircut. As I roll onto my twitchy left hip and Rachel is sliding to kneel behind my shoulder blades, my ponytail - which I felt certain I had secured away in two hair elastics - gets caught under her left knee. Before I realize it, we have both moved in opposing directions enough for me to feel and hear a small hank of hair ripping away. Rachel refers to this type of situation as "hair fu." I get the feeling that if I were to seriously train in BJJ, a short haircut would become more of a necessity, rather than a stylish option.


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