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At the end of 2013, I began to make my plans for the following year. Last year I competed nine times and was working on finding my own balance between training for the 2 different sports. I strive to always practice balance and realized that everything in my life goes much smoother at times when I achieve it.
I reflected about what had worked and what did not work in the previous year. In my weekly practice, it is best when I’m evenly balanced between the amount of jiu jitsu practice and workouts for improving my physique throughout the year. When it comes to prepping for a competition, then one obviously needs more focus. At the same time, it also works best for me that one doesn’t completely outweigh the other even when I’m getting ready for a competition. So for this year, I will keep the competitions at separate time so I can have better focus. I won’t be competing in one while beginning prep for another. The competition preps will be separate, yet I will continue to practice both.
I will also take a moment after each competition to take at least a small break and celebrate before moving on to the next. I have an old habit of rushing and going immediately to the next goal without taking in the current one. Another old habit that I’m doing differently is to compete in tournaments/shows that work best with my schedule. I used to get this idea that my initial plan or the previous year’s plan is a defined rule that I must adhere by even if it is not convenient for me. I get the choice of when I compete, so I will use it to the advantage of my schedule. Some of these seem very obvious, yet when something is a habit (good or bad) I tend to not think about it unless it is brought to my attention.
I spoke about my plans with my coaches in competing in 3 IFBB shows this year. They reminded me that it was up to me which ones I choose. They are the ones that helped me realize my old habit and the light bulb went on for me. I usually will do the March show that is inconvenient for me and I never feel like I’m at my best for that show. I also realized that I don’t enjoy the prep in the winter as much as in the summer. The longer days (in terms of sunshine) make it easier for me and more enjoyable.
During the off season, I’m working on keeping balance in my entire physique, keeping size on my shoulders and glutes, increasing my strength for jiu jitsu, and improving my ham-glute tie in. The prep for my first show of the year will begin in mid-April and I will be on stage on July 5th. The other two will be in August and November.
For jiu jitsu, I’m continuing with my classes and private lessons, which are making a huge difference in my improvements in the sport. Everything finally feels like it is coming together and I’m also learning small corrections to certain moves that make them feel a lot easier. I also began keeping a jiu jitsu diary, which seems to have a lot of influence on me retaining the moves.
Currently I’ve been preparing for Gracie Nationals on January 26th in LA. It is a submission only tournament with 8 minute rounds for white belts. It’s nice to look back over the year and see the difference in my game, since Gracie Nationals 2013 was the first tournament I ever entered. I plan to enter at least 2 other tournaments in either February, March, and/or at the end of the year.
Stay tuned for results from Gracie Nationals in next month’s blog and also the new HMB video series about our 2014 goals! Happy training!