I had an epiphany today–I was finishing a scrapbook for my best friend, Mandi, who just gave birth to a super cute girl (who I got to see today, but more of that later!) So I started the scrapbook with the following pages: “first comes love” , “then comes marrage”, and “then comes baby in the baby carrage! with pics of Mandi and Brandt when they were dating and from their wedding. Then I did a bunch of pics from her baby shower, and a mom page and a dad page, and a baby page. Then on the last page, I wrote a note to Madelyn–and I wrote that I had written the story so far, the rest of the book was empty because it was hers to fill:

“This is the most important story you will ever write–the story of your life”.

I’ve never thought of my own life like that…and I think I should. The idea that I have control over where I go, what I do, and what I achieve…that is in my hands, not someone elses–What happens in my life, yea sure, there is some which is chance, that’s life–but a lot of it, more then I really think of on a daily basis, is in my control, and what I do with the stuff that chance throws at me changes me and helps me grow–as a person, as an adult, as a teacher, and as a martial artist. It is up to me to control my attitude and “write the best story” I possibly can.


The insanity begins….

I have to go back to work this Wednesday. Booo!!! Don’t get me wrong, 1. I love what I do, and 2. am glad to have a job in these economic times. I just wish both jobs didn’t start up AT THE SAME TIME! During the fall I teach a color guard, and we have rehersals in the evenings…so I get my butt up early…I leave my house around, hmm..6:30 am…and on band nights, which are tuesdays, wednesdays and fridays, I don’t get home until about 10 pm. Thats a LOOOOONG Day. Saturdays also practically don’t exist as a day off either cause we either have rehersal or a show, both of which take up the majority of the day.

Of course, the main reason this is boo is that it interferes with my training schedule (of course!)…So I only get to train on Mondays and Thursdays…but that’s ok, Mondays are my BJJ day, so that’s quite alright with me 🙂

^ I don’t know why there is such a giant space there, apparently wordpress just wants to f*** with me today. Anywho, I field tested packing food for the day a few weeks ago, and it ended up something like this:

Breakfast (6 am):
Bowl of cereal with skim milk and fruit of the week (what is in season and yummie or a banana)

Snack upon arriving at school (7:30-8 am):
Nonfat Yogurt

Mid-morning snack (9:30 am):
Protein shake

Lunch (11:00 am)
Low fat turkey and swiss on a sandwhich thin with mixed greens
A snack sized package of baked chips

Snack (2-3 pm):
Fruit of the week
Nonfat Yogurt

Dinner (5 pm):
Grilled Meat of the week (usually chicken) and mixed green salad

Mid Rehersal Snack (7 pm)
Don’t know what to eat here…

Dessert Reward for getting home safe and sound (10 pm):
Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding

There isn’t a lot I can do about the times I eat. I leave my house around 6:30 am…I get to school between 7 and 7:30, depending on traffic. My first class technically starts at 7:49, although it’s just homeroom until 8 am. Most days I have a break 2nd period, which is around 9 am. Lunch is 4th period, between 10:30 and 11:15. Then my next break is 8th period, which starts at 1:45 or sometimes I have to wait until school lets out, which is 2:30. Band Rehersal goes from 5:30 pm to 9 pm, whatever I eat as a snack there has to be on the fly, so to speak. I’m just worried I’m eating so early that I will get home and be starving…but I don’t want to eat my main meal for the day at 10 pm at night when I get home.


So many things, so little time…

I wish I’d had time to write earlier, so much stuff has happened! On Wednesday we had a Systema and muey thai seminar which was way cool 🙂 For the muey thai, we focused on clenches–all different ways to get into them and get out of them and different techniques–like one I remember was a head lock–super swell! 🙂 Systema is a Russian system, similar to krav maga in that it is military in origin. Now If I ever need to crouch down and shoot a machine gun 360 degrees swath I can do it! It was super cool 🙂

Thursday–kickboxing–hmmm…don’t remember anymore *sigh* OH wait, I remember now…our Kyoshi was in town (see next paragraph) and he did some cool self defense with us woot!

Friday–Our Kyoshi, who is in charge of a whole bunch of schools which includes my school also runs a “martial arts school” for owners which covers good business practices and teaching practices and so forth, and every few months they have a seminar at our school on Fridays. Nancy (our head sensei) asked me if I was available to help out and I was…that was an amazing day–Firstly, our Kyoshi (in my opinion) is just amazing person–the epitome of a martial artist! I love being able to hear him speak and train under him when he is visiting. Anywho, he was running the seminar and I got lots of cool tips that I think I will be able to apply in my own classroom this fall when school starts. After the seminar we cleared the mats and trained…I felt so insignificant training with these amazing cool black belts…also saw a CRAZY amazing jits demonstration…oh, so cool…maybe if I learned to count in Japanese I could be as cool as them!!! lol

Anywho, after that we had a FOG (fear of God) test for our advanced brown belts to see who will go on to the Black Belt test which is in October (the other reason Kyoshi was visiting) so I stayed to cheer on some of my classmates who will be getting their black belt..yay!

Saturday–Satori Academy day at the beach! We went to Sandy Hook, a local beach–met at 8 am to do a beach cleanup (we got SO much trash, sheesh!) and then we trained on the beach with Kyoshi…we did a bunch of stuff with the kids and then Kyoshi took us adults and we did balance exersizes in the surf…which was soooo cool….standing on one leg…kicking the waves, punching the waves..pushups, situps…oh it was spectacular fun….yaaay!

^Me, sleeping on the beach and all of us on the steps leading to the beach 🙂
PHEW…and now I’m at band camp for a week (I teach a color guard, if you know what that is…) and it is RAINING which is really sucky but we’ll survive….Just will be very waterlogged….*sigh*


So, today, and for the next three days, I have a professional development in Hoboken, which is…oh, 45 minutes or so from my house during the day. I haven’t gotten up early all summer, so today was exhausting….it wasn’t really an exhausting type of thing, it just was me not being used to being up and around from 6 am. ANYWHO, I got home exhausted around 4, and decided, oh I’ll just lay down and take a nap for a bit, cause I don’t have karate until 7.

OOPS…woke up AT 7 on the dot, confused as hell. First I saw the time and thought I was late for my professional development (thinking it was morning) and then realized, no, it’s still the evening *CRAP* karate…rush around, get changed barge out the door–and get caught talking to my neighbor, who I see like once every 3 months…our schedules just don’t coinside…we aren’t ever leaving or coming home at the same time.

Anywho, it was nice to get caught talking to her, because she told me I looked really good and that I had lost weight (yaaaay) so that made me feel good 🙂

Finish talking to her, and then I zoom to class…gosh it’s a good thing I live around the corner from the dojo…

Sensei Tori from our East Brunswick school was there (for whatever reason) YAY! I like when she does kickboxing! woot! We did more practicing fake outs…I think I like faking a jab and then throwing a jab, and the kick low a lot (and advertise it) and out of nowhere jab. Some light sparring, nothing heavy.

For our end of class workout, she played a game with us. She split us into two groups and she had a stack of cards. She showed a card to the first person in the group, and you could either take it or pass. The number on the card was how many of whatever exersize your group had to do (pushups, mountain climbers, situps, or squats). The goal was to have the higher score at the end..so if she showed you a 3, you could say pass, and you’d get the next card, hopefully a 7 or something.

so, i know that doesn’t make any sense, so here’s an example…
Team 1 is shown a 3. 1st person on that team says “pass” she shows a 7 and puts it in team 1’s pile. Team 1 does 7 pushups.
Team 2 is shown a 10. 1st person on team 2 accepts, team 2 does 10 pushups. Card is put in pile

Back to team 1: 2nd person shown a 6, they “pass”, and are shown a 3. Team 1 does 3 mountain climbers
Team 2: 2nd person shown a 6, they accept, Team 2 does 6 mountain climbers

Team1: 3rd person shown a 5, they accept, team 1 does 5 situps
Team 2: 3rd person shown a 2, they “pass”, and are shown an 8, team 2 does 8 situps

Team 1: 4th person shown a 6, they accept, team 1 does 6 squats
Team 2: 4th person shown a 4, they pass, are shown a 10, and do 10 squats

Then you would start over again from pushups

At the end, you add up each team’s total:
Team 1: 7+3+5+6=21
Team 2: 10+6+8+10=34

YAY! Team 2 won!

Subtract the difference between the two numbers (13 in this case)
Team 1 does 13 pushups, 13, mountain climbers, 13 situps, 13 squats. Team 2 holds a straddle split.

yay! I’m going to guess she probably does this a lot with the juniors–“disguise repetition” and “make it a game”

Note to self! 🙂
Okay going to bed now, cause I have to get up again tommorrow!


Yay! BJJ tonight!

We had some new peeps, and one of them was a new girl (yay!), so I got to work with her all night. We basically just drilled armbars and sissor sweeps.


(prelude: we have a black belt bjj instructor who comes to our karate school for the bjj classes…so our karate instructors get to roll with us, which I think is super cool…Sensei Ken and Tony are white belts and Sensei Nancy is a blue belt–in bjj, obviously…)

Sensei Nancy asked me to roll with her, so I did…*phew* hard work!…lets see here..what do I remember…mostly only where she stopped me…I remember trying to to get a triangle…at some point having side control, she stopped me and told me that if I had really good side control and when I had it solid like that I could move to mount…so we restarted from that position and I was able to do it (I’m sure she let me, but still)…at another point, our positions were reversed, and I was trying to get out from underneath side control…she stopped me and said I don’t have to pull guard, just get to my knees…it seems to me this might lead to someone taking my back, but on the other hand, I just dont’ have the strength to umpa and get my legs underneath to get back to guard, and it seems that there are a few precious seconds where when you get to your knees you can change your position so you dont get your back taken…but even if my back was taken, at least I’ll be able to breathe and its a lot easier to think about defending when you can breathe and don’t have the weight of the world on your ribs. Just my lowly opinion, there. 🙂

ANYWAY, when we were finished, she said I did an awesome job (hence the yippie skippie title!) and she was proud of me *happy dance* because I knew what to do to defend and stuff…*yay*

So, I’m feeling super happy right now–had an excellent roll in bjj, karate was fun…to brain smushed to write in what we did…it’s a kickboxing week, anywho…lol plus, on Wednesday we have a muay thai seminar, so I’ll have lots of kickboxing to report on then! 🙂

One thing that during my roll I definitely thought I could have handled better…at some point I was on my back, and she grabbed my pant legs and stood up…so I couldn’t touch her cause she had control of my pant legs…I wish I remembered what we did from there, cause we did move on.. but I was somewhat frustrated cause I couldn’t figure out what to do exactly…any thoughts, suggestion, comments?

not bjj: you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your family

*sigh* I came home to visit my family down in south jersey, which for the most part involves my mother and brother, and by association my sister in law and my father.

Friday night we had dinner–my mom, brother and his wife always have dinner friday nights, so I just joined in with the fun…..so far so good, nothing odd (for us)

Saturday: my mother wanted to go to Lancaster County PA–for those of you who are not familiar, there are a lot of crafty type places and amish stuff. Lots of amish, too. ANYWHO, me, my mom, and my brother pack ourselves in a car and off we go (it’s a 2 hour ride from my mom’s)

All is fine and dandy until my brother asks for a peach. (NJ peaches ROCK!) anyway, my brother had brought peaches, and my mother had brought peaches. My brother asks for one of his peaches, and my mom asks if he left his peaches out or put them in the fridge. He replies that he put them in the fridge. My mom says, “well I’m going to give you one of my peaches cause I left them out last night so they will be riper.”

My brother says, “I don’t want one of your peaches, I want one of my peaches” (by the way, my brother is driving, i’m in the passenger seat, and my mom is in the back seat). They start going back and forth (they “argue” a lot, but usually it’s harmless) and suddenly my brother just SNAPS and tells my mother to shut up. (my brother, for the record, is MUCH older then me, and I’m of a very solid adult age–okay i’m 30, eeek!)

ANYWAY, the point of the story is he told her to shut up (and YELLED at her, totally unneccesary)–and so, my mother being the way she is, she did, and refused to talk to him for the rest of the trip. Not that he apologized or anything, cause he didn’t. She was fuming. I was fuming. It was a PEACH! My mother is somewhere in her 70’s (I stopped keeping track after 65,lol) and has had a couple of health scares, so as far as I’m concerned…if she wants to give you one of her peaches…you take the damn peach!


On another family related rant, I have spent a lot of time thinking about my weight–past, present, and future–and it has occurred to me, that until recently, I have not been surrounded by people who were ever positive about my weight–when I was in hs I was overweight, and my family was always after me to lose weight.

In college I dropped a lot of weight (I know that’s odd, but I wasn’t living at college and I don’t really drink anywho) and then my family acted like I was bulimic or anarexic. Then, a bunch of stuff blew up (not literally, just lots of stuff happened), and I gained a bunch of weight. And again, my family was after me to loose weight.

And now, I am trying to get in better shape…and I KNOW that even though my scale hasn’t changed much (which I know, I shouldn’t be so worried about) my body HAS changed…I have girly curves where there are supposed to be curves, and I feel much stronger and better about the image staring back at me in the mirror. Several of my friends have commented I look better and healthier, (and possibly obsessed with bjj, but I ignore those comments lol). But when I come home, the only comment I get from my mother is “well, I don’t think you gained any weight while you were in Maine”. Thanks Mom, you’re such a confidence booster. *sigh*

(but that’s actually positive coming from her, and again, like I mentioned before, I’m not going to start an arguement over something stupid)

At least tommorrow I get to go to karate and bjj…*sigh*


This post actually started out as a response to Valerie’s most recent post on motivation

I am actually amazed at my motivation to remain with martial arts…any other type of regimin I’ve attempted I have lost my steam with.  I think that this has been successful where other attempts have not has been because of the social network that is provided by a dojo, no matter what you study.  When I am not in class for a few days, when I come back, people ask “where have you been” or “how is everything, we haven’t seen you”.  That’s important to me cause I’m not the most social butterfly on the map. 

It seems to me, that the only way you get that at a place like the gym is if you are very outgoing –you have to make a serious effort to be social at the gym.   As previously mentioned, i am far, far away from the social butterfly.  I went to the gym for a year or so, and I never got the feeling that ANYONE really recognised me (as an individual–they always greeted me and were nice and stuff) or would notice if I wouldn’t come to work out.

 On the other hand, I KNOW that if I were to drop off the radar, I would be bombarded with text messages and phone calls asking where I am…and I feel relatively confident that if they thought my answer was bull, one of my friends would find their way to my house and drag me there *grinz*

I also think part of it has to be you have to be ready to stick to a workout plan and find what works for you.  This definitely works for me.  We do something different each time I go, and class is seperated into different sections, so I don’t get bored with doing one exersize for too long…but at the same time, those sections are regimented so there is a routine to class.  I also feel like I get a well rounded workout (that is, ALL of my muscles feel like rubber, not just, say my legs), at least most of the time!  Additionally, I am LEARNING something.  This is SO important towards my motiviation…I am a learner…I like learning…I like the feeling that I am increasing my knowledge about (insert topic here).  A run of the mill aerobics class just doesn’t do that for me.

Valerie’s post mentions people who seem to poof, disappear….and I’ve noticed that as well…and when people disappear, stop coming, I feel sad…..maybe they made too many excuses and we weren’t there to drag them to class…maybe no one said “hi” or made them feel welcome…maybe life got too hectic….maybe they moved…maybe it just wasn’t for them.  I’m sure some people try martial arts and don’t like it.  I can’t imagine it…but maybe they feel as motivated to go to their martial arts class as I do to go to the gym (that is, not at all)

Motivation is a rough thing.  If you aren’t really ready to make changes to achieve your goals, or you don’t have concrete, obtainable goals, it will be hard to focus enough to keep your motivation going strong.  To me, the goal of “I want to loose weight” isn’t very concrete.  You can’t really “feel” loosing a pound, it’s hard to notice a difference in your weight, and your weight flip flops a lot (so annoying!) Dev has a great post on this, and exersize tips, here.

Wow, I should be a blog advertiser! lol