Mani, Pedi and Ponytail Injuries

When I first started the self-defense class at Pura Atos Hamilton, the only previous experience I had in martial arts was the last time I signed up for a different self-defense class at a old gym I attended which lasted one class.  That was not a good experience.  It was not Jiu Jitsu based – there were far more strikes and jabs – setting off my triggers of a nasty past personal experience into high gear.

The only reason I went back a second time, many years later, was so that I can work at overcoming those instilled fears and get past them once and for all.  You know that saying…close one door before opening another?

Ok then, now I am on the mat.  Surrounded by other women.  This should be ok.  No stress here, right?

3pcs-lot-manual-epilator-brand-female-safety-razor-handle-pivoting-head-shaving-blades-shave-razor-forUntil I find myself standing over top of one of the ladies and she places her hands on my legs…OMG!   I forgot to shave my legs!!  I lose total concentration and start to giggle at the absurdity of my anxiety all due to a few hairs!  I literally feel the need to stop and apologize to my opponent.  She didn’t even notice, chuckled and said don’t sweat it.

A little background, mom and dad were self-employed. Mom was a seamstress so my clothing always had to be impeccable and Dad is a barber so my hair and nails always pristine. Don’t get me wrong, my folks are by no means superficial but it was their bread and butter so I was their walking marketing billboard.  Biggest reason I never leave the house without lipstick on is because it has been ingrained into me.

We are judged by what we look like within the first 3 seconds of meeting someone – unfortunately.

So now this takes me to my second incident and my very first injury at Jiu Jitsu.  Ladies, when you are on your Jiu Jitsu journey, please….trim your toenails.  I don’t care if you have2le33lx polish on them or not (but you should, of course) please, please, please….trim them.  I was sparring with a young lady and we were actually just getting into it when this searing pain shot through my finger.  I couldn’t stop because she kept coming at me but my mind shot off in every direction possible because for the life of me, I couldn’t understand where I had hurt myself.  When our 2 minutes were up, I got up and had blood dripping onto my hand and t-shirt. It wasn’t until the next day, that one of my students told me I probably got cut by someone’s toenails.  Really?  So gross….thank goodness I cleaned it up right away.

My third incident, you ask!  My gels.  One of my units I teach at school is manicuring.  The girls watch my every move and they always look at my hands.  So I go out of my way to product-enlargedkeep them as well manicured as possible.  That includes on occasion spending the money and having gels put on.  (Gentlemen, don’t worry if you don’t know what this means….just think that you always always always like the look of it on a lady friend and those biker chick pics you like to look at, ya….they have them too usually) One week, my manicurist decides to ignore me when I said I wanted them shorter, I got distracted and by the time I noticed they weren’t short enough, it was too late. Oh well, they looked pretty and what harm could they do.  Until….it was training night, and now I have my new Gi.  We start learning Pull Guard.  Notice how he grips his hands on the Gi.  The Gi is made out of very strong material….not conducive to long-ish nails.  Ouch!! One of the nails started to lift…’son of a balony!!’  Did that ever hurt!!  Back to the manicurist…time to take these gels off.

And lastly, pony tails.  I like my long hair.  My hairstylist does a fantastic job, it makes me feel pretty and feminine.  But…now on the mat, it really has become a royal pain in the pitootee…if I put in a pony, and my opponent sticks my head in a guillotine move, she tends to pull at my baby hairs and I can’t concentrate (not her fault, mine) pluronda-rouseys my pony gets in her way, not allowing her to place her arm in just the right position to choke.  (lol, I still can’t get over that I let others do this to me!) Onwards to combating with a gentleman, and he gets all frustrated because at that moment, he doesn’t have long hair and mine is
seriously in the way..so I have learned (not successfully yet) how to do a top knot.  This seems to keep it tucked away without the need of clips or hairpins which you absolutely cannot wear in Jiu Jitsu.  It’s a safety hazard for all parties involved.

What have I learned? Keep your hair like your butt, nice and tight.  Your nails, top and bottom, trimmed and short. Shave up to your knees. Not sure why anyone would be sticking their hands all the way up your pants, save shaving above the knee for your next date.

And most importantly above all else….

20150121_104903_Stay clean.  Wash your Gi, use vinegar if necessary to get rid of that musty smell.  We say the gentlemen’s …uhmm …aroma…can be offsetting but ladies, not all of us smell like roses either if we don’t maintain a water, soap and deodorant routine.

Happy grappling…

 

Other blogger’s thoughts on this topic include…

Blogger JiuJiu:  on Women and BJJ Femininity

 

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Hot flashes and this girl’s Gi

What can I say here?  I come from a very traditional old-style upbringing where anything that was ‘lady-part’ related was simply never discussed.  I couldn’t even tell my mom that we needed ‘supplies’ in front of my father because he would get so disgusted at my deplorable decorum.

Now that Mom has passed away, I can’t even ask her what it felt like for her as I am moving into my next stage in life, so I ask my friends.  They all tell me I am too young for symptoms yet but I can guarantee you, without a doubt in my mind…..I am most definitely experiencing….the hot flashes.  Holy cripes!!

They come out of nowhere and for no reason.  Always at the most inopportune moments, like if a handsome man helps me with my Jiu Jitsu belt (thanks Coach Joel) or another happens to simply look in my direction as I am backward rolling.  Oi vey!  It feels like I’m going to spontaneously combust!!  Yet again….so much for my poker face.

Now I find myself inside the Jiu Jitsu studio, where as you get to the top floor, you can already feel the heat radiating from all the sweaty men inside.  You know its going to be hot.  I run into the change room and put on my Gi.  I’m good for a couple of minutes until I walk out onto the mat.

Coach Greg says in his always cheery disposition… ‘Alright everyone, time to warm up! Jog around the mat.  Knees up! Jog. Ankles up! Jog. Touch the floor 20 times! Jog. Front rolls (these scare me so i don’t do them yet), back rolls…..’ …..you get the point.

Now not only am I getting warmed up….but doesn’t a dreaded hot flash decide to kick in!!!!!

Wait!  Repreve!!  One of the windows is open!!!!  I stand in front of it as Coach Greg decides that he’s going to close the window!!!  IS HE CRAZY?!?!?! HAS HE LOST HIS MIND??!!??!

Coach Greg: ‘I’m going to close the window.  It’s best to roll when it’s warm.’

Me:  DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH THAT WINDOW!!!  ***cue in Medusa and spinning head on my part.***  UNTIL YOU EXPERIENCE A HOT FLASH, YOU DO NOT DECIDE WHEN TO CLOSE THAT WINDOW!!

Coach Greg:  ***Hands in the air conceding defeat***

Me: **opens my Gi, lets the freezing cold air run over my body until I become human again…and goes back to jogging smiling***

white-flag-of-surrender

Dear coaches and fellow Jiujiteiros…I apologize if …no, when these moments arise.  They are out of my control.  I don’t use it as an excuse, just bear with me…if all of a sudden I strip out of my Gi and jump in front of an open window or push you out of the way of the fans….just be patient, it will be over soon and we can all act as if nothing happened.

I’m told by a few beautiful ladies that exercise helps the symptoms.  These days more women embrace this natural evolution of life.  We don’t hide in our homes.  We beautify. We exercise.  And some of us venture way, way, way out of our comfort zones and join Jiu Jitsu.

Menopause….I dare you to make a mockery of me..  I am a white belt now!!

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All I want for Christmas…

If you are like me, you have probably reached a point in your life where material gifts mean nothing anymore.  There is a roof over my head, my daughter is healthy and happy, I love my job (how many of us can say that and mean it) and although I joke around a lot about not being much of a cook and that I feed my daughter cheese and crackers regularly, if I really hunker down in front of the stove, I can whip up a half decent lasagna or an ice cream cake.  Go check out some of mom’s recipes .nicole-and-i2

Family and friends are amazing to have but boy, is the feeling when a past student comes to visit me out of the blue just wonderful!! This is Nicole.  She started with me at 14 years old was in our Planning for Independence Program (PIP) at school, has MID (Mild Intellectual Disability) and displays slight autism characteristics.  She is now 21 and successfully graduated last year.  After not seeing her for 6 months, she came in today to give me the biggest most emotional hug; now that’s an awesome Christmas present. So sweet..

***cue in Christmas music***

Focus Yolanda, back to Jiu Jitsu.  At last night’s session I saw a ring on someone’s finger, 10012436_10202787641666672_7224632776458003561_nall that came to mind is the time when I cracked my front teeth on a beer bottle while out dancing with my girlfriends; and how much pain I was in.

<–There is the bottle that caused me so much trauma that night.  [**eye roll**]

The point of the ring you ask?  Well, one night as I was sparring with one of my fellow jiujiteiras her ring pinged me off my front teeth.  The pain was slight and pretty much non-existent but the memory of the previous cracked tooth drove home…..

So what do I want for Christmas?       A mouth guard!!

I spent the rest of my session focusing on the different mouth guards that the gentlemen were wearing.  Have you seen these things?!!  They are NOT attractive.  Do I want this big bulge of plastic inside my mouth?  What about all the drool that will accumulate?  What if that drool falls out and on top of my opponent?!?!?  For pete’s sake, I am just starting to feel comfortable drilling with the odd male on the mat, I can’t have my drool dropping on his face!!!  How unladylike!!

It’s bad enough that I have to keep my lady-mounds from popping out of my sports bra or my pants from falling off!! #thisgirlsjiujitsuproblems

During my initial Self Defense class, we didn’t wear a Gi but now that I have gone on to the next stage of my adventure, I had to purchase one along with my membership.  What an exciting day that was.  I’m normally about shoes and lipsticks but boy, was I ever super proud of myself that I was going to be wearing my very own Gi.

One problem…..
I had no idea how to put it on.  When Coach Joel handed it to me and told me to quickly try it on, I noticed that the cut of the jacket is meant for men.
I told Coach Joel this and he was shocked to learn that men’s and women’s jackets are made differently.  That is why we have tailors and seamstresses, one for each gender.  Why do men’s shirts button left over right and women’s blouses right over left? Check this article…its a neat piece of historical knowledge.

It’s time for class and I have to get ready.  I pull out the pants from their bag and cannot for the life of me, figure out what is the front or back of the pants.  There is no zipper or button in the front.  No tag in the back.  Just two strings on each side plus belt loops only on one side of the pant.  Now what?!40a

I put them on and notice that there is extra material in the front….must be because I am a lady and only have ‘lady parts’ in the front of my body – yup, no ‘man parts’ here.

Yes, this must be the reason for the bulge of material in the front.  No worries, I got this…I roll up the front of the pant, turn around and notice my booty looks pretty good and in the end, all the matters, is whether my booty looks good in a pair of pants.  I put on the jacket, make a terrible attempt at tying my belt (which I still can’t figure out how to tie) and off I go out on to the mat.

After what I deemed to be a successful session of learning drills all the while me fighting to keep my pants on and my belt looking somewhat presentable…what do I notice but that the pads on the pants are not decoration.  They are to give your knees an extra layer of protection while sparring.  Where are my pads you ask?  Behind me.  On the back of my knees…..yeah, you’re correct in your thinking.  I am officially wearing my pants on backwards.  The most embarrassing part of it, is not that I figured this out on my own but that as I was asking Coach Matt for help with the belt…..he is the one that had to gently tell me I was wearing my Gi pants backwards.  Oh boy, don’t I ever feel like a fool! The color rushing to my face, so much for me ever playing poker.

All I can say is that after a few Google searches and what is now one of my favorite YouTube channels to watch…I’m obviously not alone in not knowing how to wear these pants as Rener Gracie himself had to put together a video!!  Ha!  I am not a complete imbecile!!

Three weeks later, I now know how to wear my Gi tho I still struggle with keeping my pants on during my sessions.  I have learned to tuck in my t-shirt into my leggings which I wear under the Gi to protect any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions.  Wearing cotton sets off my hot-flashes into high gear, dry fit wear is better.  Not ideal, but tolerable.

What do I want for Christmas?

A mouth guard and maybe some new sport bras…yup!  I went there.

And maybe a Gi that isn’t so prone to setting off my hot flashes….

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