When I first thought about writing this blog I thought it would be all about giving some tips on structure and balance. But that was before my inbox and social media feeds were full of motivational quotes and the like all encouraging me to be disaplined and embrace the hustle.
It appeared if lockdown didn’t see me learning portugese, perfecting handstands and memorising keenan online whilst baking sourdough bread from a home cultured starter I was an utter failure! This was in contrast to the reality of my increased working hours, rapidly decreasing motivation and slightly increasing waistline.
So this blog is essential fullfill a few roles – firstly by saying it’s OK not to become a bjj genius during this period! Not everyone has training partners at home, you can loose motivation, life does get in the way and you its ok you will miss your pain in the arse training buddies complete with dirty chokes and wristlocks! Secondly, By covering how I’m trying to get through the slumps I am hope that not only it might give you some ideas but it also give me a further push by providing a bit of self therapy (it’s my blog so I can be self indulgent lol).
So what have I tried and failed……
Trying to find a structure that works for you – most of my week is structured around my training programme. When I work late, when I don’t, when and what I eat and of course bug chunks of my social life and spare time. Removing that messes things up a little bit for me. I’ve tried several things to set up my routine and basically whenever I have tried to set thing in stone they’ve failed. So I have built one with a little bit of slack built in so that it can work for me at least some of the time and when it doesn’t I simply try to be kind to myself. After all this isn’t a holiday or training camp – we are trying to adapt to pandemic lockdown 😉
Find exercises that you actually like – At the start of lockdown hubby bought a battle rope at the start of lockdown to do our cardio and I also got a skipping rope. I’ll be honest the battle rope started to really hurt my shoulders over time and I also felt very self conscious skipping outside. So unsurprising I always found an excuse not to do it and never stuck to it. So I had to find something new. Two things that have popped in instead is a daily post work walk to help with my work life balance but also running. Now I do not like running at all and managed to get a giant blister and a sprained ankle all in my first two sessions but it does work for me better as a cardio session alongside my other sessions so I try to suck it up – I have a route that isn’t very public near a local playing field, pop on my headphones and suck it up once a week.
Find things you can do flexibly – in the early stages of lockdown I found it really difficult to make some of the scheduled yoga and training classes which was frustrating (if you would like a live yoga class – Leon’s are great and I do miss them!). As an alternative I played about with a few things including YouTube and various yoga apps but found Yoga for BJJ really helpful as I could do it when I wanted with sessions of varying difficult depending on my energy levels. I now try to do it at least everyday I’m working from home and occasional squeeze in a 10 min flow when manning the office etc. (if you fancy getting a 30 day free trial you can use my referral link – I get 30 days free too – end of plug lol!)
Set some things in stone (especially social ones) – one the things that has helped me the most has been my virtual judo sessions. Partly because I get to see Sophie (my friend and judo coach) but also the accountability of sessions that I have to do as instructed and she’s watching if I skip things. They’ve become a regular cardio session for me! I’ve also tried to schedule my drilling with hubby as part of an extended lunch break when at home. In part because we found it to be when I have the most energy to do it but also as it drags me away from my screen and makes me have a break.
Appreciate the little things – a quote I use a lot at work at the moment is to celebrate “the little wins” as often things are so overwhelming it can feel as if nothing is making a difference. When in reality everything we’ve done has made a difference to and individual, group or community. I’d realised outside of work I was ignoring that advice especially when I’d spotted how much training some people did (or at least posted on social media!). By the nature of social media you also notice those struggling to train! So to help me appreciate things more this week I started photographic my session via a timer to help me stop and reflect on how much I was still managing to do.
I’ll be honest this blog contains the less gurning and unphotogenic shots but at least I had a giggle going through those and even captured the split second holding a handstand. Maybe that post lockdown handstand is closer than I think 😉
I’ve no idea if the blog will help anyone or just be another annoying lockdown post but feel free to comment and share your thoughts too! But I guess the key thing to remember no matter what your sport or BJJ belt that its currently not a competition and everyone is going to return to the gym a little less sharp than at the start of this. The key is just to keep yourself interested enough so that you do want to go back and haven’t become too addicted to your games console, laptop or Netflix’s account instead!