first day with my Gi

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slow Motion

Oy. Running.

Lacing up my sneakers, I felt a slight tinge of nervousness. 5 minutes is a long time of suffering to do it right, but it could be nothing compared to lingering disappointment.

We were out there, right around the time when the sun was starting to shine in your eyes, (good thing Gary made me put on sunscreen) and also, around the time when the local sky writing starts.. “Jesus Loves You” “ Trust in God.” It’s too bad that doesn’t personally inspire me. It would be funny if the neighbors that are out early in the morning cheered us on. One guy offered Gary a gatorade, which was pretty funny. I was 100 meters behind him, and all I heard was Gary say, “I’m okay. Yeah I’m good thanks.” I thought the guy was asking Gary if he was okay, because he looked like he was about to keel over. haha. Which didn’t surprise me. I know what Gary’s face looks like when he’s so focused and determined it seems aliens have abducted him from this world.

We did three rounds of all-out runs. On the first, I ran faster for longer, which was more sustainable than fastest for a short time and then having to slow down so much it’s almost like rest/recovery. I’m not exactly sure what’s best, yet. This was less scary, though, than nearly sprinting up front and knowing you have to continue for the whole time. The second round was just running hard as I can for each moment and pushing through. On the third one, it felt like a dream. You think you’re moving your arms and legs as fast as you can… and really, you're hardly moving at all.

Not done yet… still to come was 10 mailbox sprints, pull-ups (3 sets of 8 w/ pulling your body up to the right – middle- left- middle, etc.) and grip exercises.

And with all of this pain… I still looked at the leaf piles in the backyard, thinking I’d rather be doing this than yard work!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Ogress

Coach asked me to come in to sparr with these taller girls in the kids class again. I know it’s good for them to go up against someone their own size, but, I don’t really like beating up on little girls. I felt like this big ogress that they try to tie down or shoot arrows at, but I just go rooaarrrrr and keep them pinned down with my little pinky finger.

In what world am I big mamma? I know it’ll get better once they get used to it. I don’t weigh any more than they do. (in fact, I’m 20 lbs less than one of them)

They did good. They didn’t make it easy on me. I wanted them to practice the escapes, though. The kicker of it is, that I’ve never been on top, so I hardly even knew what to do in a dominant position. From mount, I tried my hand at the Americano or a Cross Choke (not very successfully, I might add). Drills for learning technique are a lot different. Nothing is ever in the exact right position like in training.

I give the girls lots of encouragement afterward. I have to keep myself from talking to them while we’re sparring, though. I get in trouble for that, but it’s just in me to be helpful. I had one girl in side control and was very gentle, moving her hair out of the way so I didn’t tug on it. I collided heads with one girl on a take down, and checked and double checked that she was okay… but it turns out I’m the one with the bruised nose!! I noticed something that looks like grab marks on my bicep. Oh wait, they ARE grab marks… but from fighting a ten year old girl, not from my 6’0”, 185 lb domestic partner. I know I look like a bad after school special.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Again. And Again. AND-Again.

We had an in-house tournament at our school.. so this was really my first time getting nervous that there’s only one chance. I don’t get to tap out and start over like in training. I was disappointed in my performance even more than usual, but I do not want to dwell on past mistakes. I want to move forward by working on ways to change the game. I don’t mind losing, but I KNOW I can do better.

I was able to jump guard right away because I didn’t waste time thinking about it, and I didn’t give a chance for the dancing around shenanigans. The big guys in one match, spent the entire time standing. I know they were working really hard attempting a take-down, but still, it was a little funny.

Uuugghhhh… I’m tired of getting muscled around, and I’m really getting fed up with getting stuck under these people who are, 50,60,80,200 pounds heavier than me. I really like everyone as a person… but as crushing weight laying on top of me… no thanks.

I am absolutely accepting responsibility. I allow myself to get into these compromising positions, which is also why I get frustrated with myself.

You do get to know the people who you train with and what their ‘moves’ are. For example, the same thing happens on the reg, between me and this one woman. I pull guard, which everyone knows is the game Gary taught me. My closed guard is getting pretty tight, but she pushes all her weight onto my chest in a going-for-cross-choke-type position. I know she doesn’t have the choke, but her pushing on me is mucho problematic. She’s usually in a tripod and her arms are right there, so I know I need to figure out a sweep or arm bar and how to work it with the pressure on my chest and to not let her pass guard. That could definitely change the game. I open my legs to put my foot on the hip and fumblingly go for an arm bar (somehow), but that’s where she passes and really lays on top of me. (I’m not sure exactly what happens there, but it does not feel good). I know I need to turn to my side for surviving, but holy wow, I feel stuck. I was bridging, but I think I need to remember about good, strong shrimping in that spot. I sometimes can grab an okay half guard, but overall… what a mess! I need to be quicker and more precise with movements because I can’t fight strength. I need to keep moving and be on my side preemptively, so I’m never flat on my back. I need to keep my knees tighter in when I open my guard, to prevent passing, and to ease the crushing.

Geez, here I am, spewing my game all over the internet, but writing it helps me to commit to working on problems.

On a less related note… I learned a new trick for the scissor sweep, practicing with Gary. Suddenly, it was so much more manageable when I put my knee in closer and higher on his chest, and turned to my side before pushing opposite directions with each leg. It was a little ‘ah-ha’ moment. Makes sense. And really illustrates for me how minor adjustments are the difference between a move working or not working.

I told Gary that part of my frustration is that I haven’t had the chance (or taken charge for the chance) to practice going for a whole lot of techniques I learn. I’m constantly working on defending against squishing. He said I am getting practice. --Practice getting my ass beat. :-) Which is true.. and also an important part of the learning process. He says that’s how our little friend in Philly got so good… Because he had to. And I can definitely understand that now. It’s not an insult, but I’m pretty sure the Pancake is not an official BJJ submission… (maybe on the way to one) but too bad I tap out to something so un-technical. I think it will be better practice for all of us, once I change the game and stop letting myself get taken for a ride. Not surprisingly, as a small young-looking woman, this is all too familiar. In general, I’m a nice, generous person… until I feel taken advantage of.

I think about Jiu-Jitsu just about everyday. I’m starting to mentally put myself in the positions and go through what to do, but I need to study and refresh the details. Gary assigned me a chapter in the book after what happened yesterday. I woke up at 5:30 this morning thinking about what to do… maybe because Gary was like the tooth fairy and put a BJJ book under my pillow.

I’m supposed to be writing a course syllabus by tomorrow… but clearly I’m writing my Fight Blog and contemplating my Jiu-Jitsu homework.

Pancake Alert

Well, I fought someone my own size! --- she’s 10 hehe. Yep, 10 years old. Our coach asked me to come in to sparr with her in the kids class. My weight/height, but felt like a little feather compared to everyone I’m usually up against. I was nice, but I didn’t go easy on her. I felt bad that she seemed a little scared, but I definitely know the feeling and I’m glad to help her. All of the kids in her class are MUCH smaller, so she’ll never know if her technique really works until she tries it on someone her size or bigger.

Then, back with the adults… Pancake Alert!! It is quite apparent that I still need to work on strategy for operation no more pancake.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quote Of The Day

“Oh, Fuck, this is hard!” That was my quote of the day.

Out of bed at 6am. It’s still dark out - not my favorite, but it can only make me stronger. Gary Gross says that it’s really not Fight Training without the early mornings. He definitely had his, ‘I’m serious about exercise’ face on this morning. He “doesn’t wake up early just to futz around.”

Regular warm up
2 rounds, 5-minute all out runs (Gary 7 min)
3 sets of 5 Pull-ups each with rope
Grip exercise set – open close open close open close - One Hundred and Fifty Times

By the end of that, fingers don’t function properly - hands feel more like claws. I think my strength for holding on to the other person’s Gi is getting better, though. It’s hard to check progress on something like that, but I do remember how much it strained my hand 2 months ago. I used to wake up with numbness in my forearm. (Also known as WEAKNESS. We may as well name it)

Mr. Gary Gross designed a dynamite piece of workout equipment (read torture device) for $7 out of cotton rope and sports tape. He quadrupled the thickness of the ends so the part you grab would be fat (and difficult) to pull up on. (Still one straight rope) Rope goes over tree branch, and insta-pull-up device. I apologize for any creepy Noose images this may conjure… it’s not similar.

Gary himself also morphs into a useful exercise aid. He holds the soles of my feet on his thighs for my pull-ups, so I have flexibility with how much of my own weight I’m lifting.

Those 5-minute all out runs are really not fun. Besides the physical pain, it’s really a big mental game. This is the time where I am truly in control of doing my very best, and I have become acutely aware of this factor. 5 minutes is a long time to fight the little cheater inside. At every moment, I ask myself, “can you push harder?” My whole life, I never really practiced anything. I pretty much took the natural ability as far as it could go, then quit, like the clarinet in 6th grade, or lived with any chance of mediocre results like nervously fumbling through a presentation that I’d only jotted a few notes for. This time, I want no doubts. I want to know that I’ve prepared as much as I can, no matter what happens.

Giving up is not an option.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

An 'Easy' Run

After a day of much needed relaxation and a nap, we were ready to run at night. Quite a change from 7:30am to 7:30pm, but both take quite a bit of motivation. Good thing I have Mr. Gary Gross. His Superhero power is iron will and determination.

Regular rotations, calisthenics and stretching were a start, but then we just did an 18 minute slower run together, which was nice. Without stopping, we went straight into sprinting in between mailboxes – sprint for two-mailbox length, jog for one. (5 minutes for me, 7 for Gary). I don’t think this neighborhood really knows what to make of us. I don’t think they’ve ever heard anyone huff and puff and groan the way I do… quite improper for suburbia. After this, we stood in our driveway doing the hand gripping routine from class – arms straight out - 25 forward, 25 side, 25 above head, 25 side w/ palms facing up, 50 forward.

This was actually an easier routine, but my legs still felt numb and weak, and my lungs hurt even in 85 degree weather.

31 Rowboats!

It was an abbreviated warm-up… but still… I hit 31 Rowboats.

We learned two moves for escaping from when you are in someone’s half-guard. I usually get a little confused with half-guard moves because it is a position based on having one leg trapped, or hooking the person’s one leg with your two legs, so you really need a good concept for which arm to use, which side to put your body to and which leg is on top/inside/outside when you’re on the bottom hooking… because there’s only one right way. I get struck with Jiu-Jitsu Dyslexia. It just doesn’t all make sense to me yet.

When coach came around to check on how we were practicing the moves… it completely amazed me that he always remembered which side we’d already done, and that we didn’t know that we were about to practice the same side again.

When rolling, I also have trouble remembering all of the details and little tricks. My mind seems to go blank, and my body doesn’t have enough muscle memory yet. I was too tired most of this week to go to class because I started a new voter registration job, so I’ve decided to (finally) commit to studying Jiu-Jitsu books and taking notes on the little tricks I often forget. Especially because I’m little, if someone’s on top of me, something like bringing my heel closer to my butt could mean the difference between me bridging my hips up high enough to escape my hip out to the side, or to sweep the person over… or becoming a stuck little pancake.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One Little Dry Heave

Today was running… at 7:30 this morning. Same little warm up with rotations, calisthenics, and stretching. Then, 5 minutes jogging warm up, and I did two rounds of 5 minutes all out running and Gary did his Seven minutes (4 minutes rest in between). The third surprise round was sprinting between mailboxes, alternated with jogging. jog-sprint-jog-sprint-jog-sprint-jog-sprint for 5 minutes (Gary for 7).

After the first round of all-out running, came my first little dry heave of the 90 day adventure. Nothing majorly traumatic, but it told me I was doing a good job ;-) I changed my strategy from last week’s running. I was pacing myself too much last week. This time, I ran as fast and as hard as I could for as long as I could at first and then kept going for the rest of the time, however fast I could at that moment… with an extra hard push for the last 30 seconds. This way, I’ll be able to go hard and fast for longer and longer, until I get the whole 5 minutes that way. I am so used to goals of distance, that this is a change to be extra conscious about speed.

Monday, July 12, 2010


After week one of Fight Training, I’ve really only become more aware of my weaknesses. Which means two things. One, that Fight Training has been putting me in more situations to see how I react up against extreme frustration, self-imposed challenge, feeling stuck and potentially overwhelmed, and two, that I see Fight Training in other everyday activities. For instance, mowing the lawn became a trying venture. The lawn had grown way too long in two weeks for our little manual push mower. I was having a tough time pushing 4 or 5 times on the same little spot, which took more strength than I have, and looking around at how little was accomplished and how much more area needed to be mowed became more than I could handle. (there may have been a few tears and some profanity along the way). After 2 hours of this, the kid who mows lawns down the street came over and I gave in to paying the kid to take his gas-powered mower to the task. I don’t regret the decision, but I did feel defeated and a little embarrassed. I had already come to the realization that lawn mowing is bullshit because it’s only for appearances to the neighbors who don’t know, and couldn’t care less about us. If we had kids who played out there it’d be one thing. Also, today, what got me so mad, is that we pay some guy a lot of money to live here AND we do manual labor to maintain His property. I had an I hate suburbia day. If it wasn’t already clear, this is not for us.

I feel physically weaker and drained…especially by the point today where I pushed the mower and it no longer moved (operator malfunction). My muscles look bigger, but now I really notice the times when I can’t open a jar in the kitchen. I think my expectations are higher for myself, already, and need some adjusting.

The first six weeks or so of training Jiu-Jitsu, I thought I was learning a lot and progressing, but then I started facing more and more frustrating moments that brought discouraging feelings. I kept coming back to try again and to figure out better ways of approaching the same situations. Moving forward, now, I need to fine-tune the details of positions and practice so I remember more when it comes time to use them in sparring. It seems that lately, I’ve been ending up underneath people A LOT, mostly defending against stronger people pushing me around (especially other white belts). Hardly any pancakes, though! I am reminding myself that before anything else, I must survive. Saulo Ribeiro, in his book, ‘Jiu-Jitsu University,’ proclaims that, in fact, “The Goal of the White Belt is Survival.” He discusses how everyone has fears, and that, in Jiu-Jitsu, it is by facing these fears over and over one can be liberated, eventually finding relaxation in approaching difficult situations. Saulo names this as, “a natural process of mental conditioning,” declaring that, “survival on a physical level is simply and extension of this mental conditioning.” This includes getting used to feelings of being attacked and of crushing weight on your chest, but knowing that at any moment you can tap and start again.

“even though it is a path of a thousand miles, you walk one step at a time.”
-Miyamoto Musashi

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Gary used to come over to my apartment after Jiu-Jitsu. I would throw his Gi in the washing machine, and wonder how it could possibly still stink so much after being cleaned… I don’t wonder any more. My cute little Gi with pink stars doesn’t smell so terrific.

The Gi’s get hung up in the bathroom, which makes for permanent stink sauna. And the office is now home to a drying rack full of gym clothes, including one pair of little spandex shorts I’ve had since the 3rd grade. They have the name label my grandma sewed into all of our clothes for camp. They’re perfect under the Gi pants. Last week, my arm hardly brushed up against Gary’s rash guard shirt, and then my arm stunk. It’s intense.

We also switched to natural deodorant, which isn’t doing much to help the stink situation, but somehow, I don’t really care that much. The day of purchase, I felt like this was crossing a certain threshold into hippie-dom, like taking a final bow out from mainstream society.

We just laugh a lot. (my mother would be horrified)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Not So Smart

Thursdays are No Gi day at the gym. This usually means big-time physical training. Coach says if we do this all summer, through the florida heat and humidity, we’ll be so strong come winter… and we won’t be the fat ones, packing on the seasonal pounds. He doesn’t use air conditioning (“Brazil-Style”), which I am so grateful for. I love the heat. I used to turn on the car’s heated seats in the middle of summer on the drive to yoga.

Usual warm up - jumping jacks, butt kicks, high knees; 100 hand grips; 10 push ups, 50 stomach exercises, 10 push ups, 50 stomach exercises, 10 push ups, 50 stomach exercises, 10 push ups, 50 stomach exercises, 10 push ups, 50 stomach exercises, 10 push ups, 50 stomach exercises, 10 push ups. I feel so relieved after this, when he says, “sit down, ankle rotation forward.” I know it’s coming, but it still feels- so good- every time.

Circuit with everyone – 5 minute rounds with 1 minute break
…for 45 minutes…
(almost wrote one hour for evenness… but there’s no need to exaggerate. This shit’s wild enough)
- Ground and Pound
- Jump Rope
- Kettle Bell Circuit
-15 squats w/ 30 lb
- 5 clean and presses each arm w/ 20 lb
-20 lunges w/ 10 lb in each hand
-20 shoulder raises, forward and lateral w/ 5lb in each hand

Grand Finale…

One 5 minute round of 30 second Kettle Bell stations
-squat press w/ 30 lb
-two-handed swings w/ 20 lb
-jumping split squats w/ 10 lb each hand
-jumping jacks w/ 5 lb each hand

The kettle bells were too heavy for me for some of the exercises, so I modified which exercises I did with which weight, and sometimes just did without the weight to ensure safety and good form. For the last set, though, I got caught up in the excitement and thought I would just give it a try. Not So Smart! I was probably close to hurting myself. I won’t be doing that again. And as if I didn't feel bad enough about potential personal injury, I got a lecture on proper lifting form and critical thinking skills from Mr. Gary Gross as he sat there with his shorts dripping sweat all over, like he pee'd himself.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


With all of the physical and emotional strain of Fight Training, I am being conscientious of the foods I eat. Yes, I’ll still eat ice cream and the occasional item made by food chemists and factories, but I’ve come a long way from secretly eating single-serving microwave pierogies and expensive take-out sushi. This morning I finally found a tasty use for goji berries -- 5 grain oatmeal on the stove with natural peanut butter, goji berries and a banana. Yum. Last night quickie dinner was quinoa with tomatoes, chickpea mash, kale and fried up little chicken cutlets (which, frying also falls into the category of doing something that scares me). We eat a lot of miso and seaweed, and lots of superfoods, which are fun to read about in the ‘100 Best Health Foods’ book. Barnes and Noble Bargain Books sections are the best, even if it is a big box store where you walk in and lose track of what city you’re in. I still have soreness and lots of random bruises, but my body does heal quickly. I like to eat often anyway, so my new Gary Gross prescribed snack is a fruit, some nuts, and a bite of raw green vegetable. Gary’s mom is the queen of healthy, tasty snacks, so first homework assignment: get recipes from Grace.

Shoving is not Jiu-Jitsu

Inner calm… easier said than done. I almost lost my cool in Jiu-Jitsu class today. I got so mad when I was rolling (aka sparring, grappling) with Gary. I felt stuck and frustrated (which isn’t a new jiu-jitsu feeling) and at one point, I think I tapped out and shoved him away from me. Oops. I wasn’t mad at him. Just mad. And fighting angry doesn’t help. I breathed through it and calmed down a little. Point for improvement.. noted.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Determination and Inner Calm

I decided that I (and Gary) would actually try the Jewish youth group for grown-ups… but not coincidentally I chose the event at an indoor rock climbing gym. I thought it might attract interesting people, and conveniently work together with Fight Training... Even more closely than I thought.

Some of the people climbing there had the most intricate back and shoulder muscles. It was quite impressive to witness some of the exercises for grip strength and working with your own body weight. I admire how they must have trained to get to this point.

Aside from noticing how sexy women climbers can be, and having a nice, caring partner activity for me and Gary (smooches give extra climbing power)...

For me, the time spent climbing today was about pushing past some intense feelings of fear and doubt. Facing crucial moments where I felt paralyzed and insecure, gripping onto the wall 30 feet up, I had to, literally and metaphorically, let go and trust in myself to just go for it. I think I started out more scared than I was at 15 years old, but was able to overcome this fear much better than that Elissa had. On the first wall, where we were getting cleared for safety skills, I hardly made it two steps up, before I panically called out, "okay, i'm scared." and just froze there until Gary lowered me down. The harness was tight, and the ropes secure. I trust Gary, but fear, unfortunately, is not rational. The next wall I faced was slanted so far forward -- aka the easy way. I made it to the top, but my heart was beating so fast, and when I came down, Gary said my lips were blue. I remembered to use my legs, but may have forgotten to breathe. On the fifth and final climb, I scaled straight up a difficult wall. Focused on the physical task in front of me, at one point, I raised my foot up to waist level to reach a small hold, and pushed my body up, not even knowing where my hands might grab. At that moment, I was able to get out of my own way. I was not held back by fear of failure. Just like the Karate Kid, I knew I had to fight, because I was scared.

Pushing and pulling, grip strength, preparing mentally for each short burst of battling up the wall, strength and agility -- all good, practical Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills practiced, but I uncovered even more.

Overall, I feel motivated to be extraordinary. There were two fairly standard photographs hanging on the wall that actually provided a moment of clarity for me. One was a woman scaling straight up an enormous wall outside, and the other, a woman practicing yoga at sunset in a field. This scene was even called 'Prana', and that’s how I felt. At that moment I knew it was right to trust the times that I feel the sustaining life force inside of me; that overwhelming sense of inner calm and openness. The wild woman in me can overtake the girl part who gets satisfaction from external possessions and mainstream societal impositions.

In the woman climbing, I saw an incredible sense of confidence and determination in her face, and that was when I set my eyes on the prize.

-Elissa Hope

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fight Training...Day 1

I was told Jiu-Jitsu would make me tough, and now, two months in, comes the real test. These next 90 days will be where prophecy becomes reality. Strength of will. Strength of mind. Strength of body. … Fight Training With Mr. Gary Gross.

A few weeks ago, we decided that the October 2nd tournament would be my first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Gi Competition. And really… the first time where I truly feel training can make a great difference. I never took high school cross-country that seriously because, really… I didn’t notice much difference between the 28 minute 3 mile day or the 28.56 minute 3 mile day. Now, however, being 5’1”, 102 lb, and having been beat up a time or two by teammates, I KNOW that I need all of the technique, agility, focus and stamina I can attain. Staying calm and not ‘gasing out’ can give me the edge to defend and wait for the moment to gain control. Really, though, I can’t get smothered or smooshed by bigger people. Pancakes are only for breakfast!

In theory, I was getting excited for fight training. I would joke that I’m really in for it now, because of stories I’ve heard about Gary Gross Fight Training, but the truth is, I don’t really know what lies ahead on my personal journey. I do know that he will always look out for me and push me forward in all the right ways. I was a teeny bit nervous this morning, but I’ve adopted a new mindset of being in the moment as much as possible and not worrying about the tiredness that would ensue later. This keeps me focused on doing my best.

On Monday, July 5, 2010, I woke up as usual, 3 minutes before the alarm at 6:57, snoozed for a few, then got up and made oatmeal while Gary ventured out into the suburban jungle for a stopwatch battery. We were set to start at 8:30, and at 8:30, so began Day 1’s training regimen:

(all written out and itemized in Gary Gross’ Jiu-Jitsu notebook)
-light rotations
-50 four-count jumping jacks
-50 up-downs
-50 side-to-sides

-10 minutes free stretching

-Running: 5 minutes warm up
5 minutes all out (7 for Gary) –- 2 rounds w/ light jog in between

-5 minutes (7 for Gary)
--20 Lunges
--10 squats
--10 squats w/ jump
--10 split squats
--5 variations of push ups, 2 each (hand-to-foot, elbow-to-knee, T’s, hindu and reverse-hindu)
--4 sit-outs and jump backs

-10 minutes free stretching


My exercises are in 5 minute increments because that is how long my rounds will be, and similarly, Gary’s in 7, to train your internal clock to this time, and to always know that you can push hard for the entire time.

For the first day, I think I was more getting used to the timing, and I’m not sure I ran as fast as I could have… but I was still pretty f-ing tired. My body said, good job, we’re done.. And at this point I realized there’s more to come. My lunges, squats and especially push-ups were quite poor in form, but that was nothing compared to how it took 4 wrong attempts at sit-outs and jump backs, and a light dose of Gary Gross demonstration and frustration for me to finish strong. (then I timed Gary and he did more than twice my amount in his time)

(8 hours later)……..Now comes time for 7pm Jiu-Jitsu class. I felt good. The regular warm up is no joke. –our ‘big boy’ friend says so- 250 stomach exercises interspersed with 50 push ups and some calisthenics/stretching. I stay consistent and determined, but I will be improving in form and speed. Especially, the last exercise, today, I made it to 27 row boats in Coach’s 50 count (Mr. Gary Gross usually finishes all 50. I’ll be increasing little by little). We learned a neat sweep from when someone stands up in your guard, opening your legs, grab their heels, hip thrust and end up on mount. (I don’t know the name, but quite a good trick).

In light grappling with a woman and a young guy, both with 40-50 pounds and a good amount of strength on me, I practiced survival techniques and even got to side control. (not that I remembered what to do from there).

I stayed pretty calm and was ready for after-class Kettle Bell circuit. 7 minutes for Gary, 5 for me. Gary, of course, in his wildly high intensity (controlled) looked like a mad Russian snarling and huffing and puffing with his big beard. I counted reps and kept time. He did the whole seven minutes, from 30 lb to 5 lb. Gary then supported me in my 10 lb to 5 lb adventure.

Kettle Bell Circuit
-10 right hand swings
-10 left hand swings
-10 right hand snatches
-10 left hand snatches
-10 right hand clean and presses
-10 left hand clean and presses
-10 2-handed swings
...repeat for allotted time
descending weights (optional)

The End. I’m Tired.

-Elissa Hope