Friday, May 5, 2017

Aging Sucks!

I know this is my first post in a while but I have been dealing with some health Issues. 

About 4 months ago I started questioning my health.  I haven’t treated my body very well. In 2010 I noticed my health changing. I started gaining weight and losing my fitness levels. But it’s only been within the last 6 months that I have noticed my health getting worse. Things like chronic fatigue (no energy) and weight gain.

So, about 5 months ago I stopped drinking any kind of soft drinks and substituted with water. I drink a lot of water now. I started doing research online about natural aids to help lose weight. I have about 30 kilos to lose. Every evening I am researching about foods and spices that aid in weight loss naturally.

In the beginning of April I also decided it was good to get a check up, so off to the doctor I went. There is the clinic here inside Rocinha, but to get blood tests you need to return another day and I didn’t want to do that. Just outside of Rocinha is a cinic. You need to pay but for what you get, its very reasonably priced. I got full blood screens, Chest X-Ray and ECG all for about 300 reais.

A week later I got all the results back. Chest X-Ray - No problems, ECG - No problems. Blood tests some problems: 1.) High Cholestrol   2.) Thyroid problem.

So, I went online and researched everything I could for about 1 week solid on how to improve the cholesterol problem and how to get my thyroid functioning normal again through natural means. I do NOT want to be on drugs the rest of my life!

First thing I did was to empty out cabinets full of any kind of food that’s in a bag, a box or a can. And substituted it with healthy foods.

My cabinet in my kitchen is filled with glass containers (plastic is not good) with spices such as Turmeric, Ginger, Ginseng, Cayenne Pepper, Black Pepper, Coconut Oil. Supplements I have added like Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium, Omega 3’s, Selenium, B12. These are just some of the things that exist in my cabinets.

Every morning I make this concoction that consists of green tea (I soak the green tea in water before), Turmeric, Cayenne Pepper and Ginger. I make sure the drink is warm and mix it with tablespoon of coconut oil.  In the last 6 weeks I have lost about 8 kilos.

How I lost the 8 kilos
- Absolutely NO Sugar (including fruits)
- Eating a lot less Carbohydrates (not quite a Keto Diet but getting there)
- NO eating after 7:00pm at night
- Getting out and walking every day
- Just started Jiu Jitsu class last week

Fitness Changes

I bought a fit bit watch from a friend. This watch keeps tracks of how many steps you take, heart rate, distance walked, calories burned and how many flights of stairs.
It’s nice to set some goals. My fitness is going slow but steady. I have had the fit bit for about 10 days. Here are my averages.

Steps Taken: 4828
Resting Heart Rate:  58
Exercising Heart Rate: 120
Distance: 2.78 miles
Flights of stairs: 18

Not bad as I know I can improve on my numbers. My heart rates are fine. I have always had a strong heart. I don’t drink or use drugs so this is good. What I want to improve in the next 2 months is:

Steps Taken: 6000
Distance: 4 miles a day
Flights of Stairs: 25

These are my goals for the next 2 months.

Back to Jiu Jitsu

I originally started training in Judo in 1985 stopped in 1993. I then took up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1996 started training at Carlson Gracie's academy when they had a school on the corner of Wilshire and La Cienega Boulevard in West Los Angeles California. Those were the days when Carlson had all his young fighters there. I remember meeting a 19 year old Vitor Belfort, Murilo Bustamante, Carlos Barreto and Mario Sperry. From 1996 until about 2009 I had always been involved in Jiu Jitsu in some way. 

So after all of the years exposed to this art, I felt drawn back to it. So, I joined a Jiu Jitsu school. I used to train Jiu Jitsu but stopped in 2009 because of work and no time. Everybody knows me here in Rocinha. I used to teach a No Gi class here so everybody knows what my ability used to be. This time I want to take my Jiu Jitsu training slow with no pressure. And I want to be in a new environment. Getting older sucks and movement and flexibility have changed a lot.

So, I'm sure you are all wondering how my returning to training went. I used to train in the community where I live. I also taught No Gi classes too. Everybody knows me where I live. They keep asking when I am going to return. I will return when I am back in the flow and I am in better shape. The awesome thing about training where I live is there are 3 jiu jitsu schools. They charge 70 reais a month. I trained here but Carlson Gracie (in Copacabana) was my instructor and original school. Here in Rio you need be careful because schools can get very territorial. Here loyalty to your school is very important. Since Carlson died I have been visiting and training at different places but keeping a low profile. 
Where I live, I did "some training" but they are a very competitive ranked school in Rio. Their training is very hardcore competition based. And the students are in the 17-35 year old range. I am in my 50’s. I don't mind getting my ass beat, but I at least want to be able to put up a good fight and right now I am NOT in that kind of shape. I cannot afford to get hurt.
Ok, so this is how it went down at the new school. The new school is located in a neighboring area but not a favela. I went first to watch a class last week (Thursday) and the head instructor was there. I just sat and watched. The head instructor asked me my name. He asked if I had trained before. I told him I had. He said ok, welcome to the class and I just was quiet. I just sat and observed the class. At the end the instructor asked me if I was interested. I told him that I will come back next week.
Last Saturday I had to work and Sunday there was no class. Monday was workers holiday here so no class.
I went in yesterday (Tuesday) brought my Gi (uniform) with me. I used to wear A3, but now I’m wearing A4 because of the weight gain. I still have the A3 and the brown belt. But even the belt didn't fit. So, I wore a white belt, but hold on, let me explain...I paid for 4 months. Prices here are more expensive than the favela schools.
So, I got on the mat started stretching out 15 minutes before the class. Another professor arrived took me aside and asked me my name, asked if I trained and I told him the WHOLE story of my history. He asked about my rank, I showed him my brown as I brought it with me in my bag, but explained that the belt was too small because of my weight gain. He said fine. He didn't say anything about the white belt.
I also explained that I haven't been on the mats training in about 7 or 8 years. When we were warming up for about 20 minutes I was able to do the warm up for about 10 minutes (I'm so f'n out of shape), but I know it will get better. I was able to do all the stretches with some small limitations. Need to work on the flexibility.
The major problem I noticed was being on my knees. I could only be in this position for about 5 minutes before I started feeling pain in my kneecaps. Lying on my back with people in my guard, no problem. Side control top position some pain in the knees. Me in someone’s guard, problem if more than 5 minutes on my knees.
One thing I did notice is they would constantly ask me if I knew "such and such" a position. All the positions, sweeps, attacks, submissions and escapes I had seen before. I didn't lie or exaggerate anything. I know my limitations. I just told them the truth. They were very respectful of my fat ass lol. I did not roll as I prefer to observe until I can at least feel comfortable being on my knees for a longer period of time. (My mind was telling me to roll but my body was saying, I'm not ready yet). My body won out on that decision.
I enjoyed the function of the class. The breakdown was 15-20 minutes warm up, 40 minutes techniques (all techniques were related either a submission, defense or a counter, nice flow). For example we did 4 techniques drilling yesterday and today we did 5 techniques. Then, about 25-30 minutes of rolling. Over all I feel welcome in the school. Every partner that I trained with was respectful and chill. No anti-partners in this school. And there are no spazzes in the classes. And the average age of the students is around 35-40 years old. A mature group with no egos. So at least I know, I made the right choice in where I am training.
Yesterday I went to the 7:30-9:00pm class, Today I went to the 4:30-6:0pm class. I am really tired but they have a 7:00am class that I want to try as well, just to meet all the different instructors. There are classes 3X a day so I have a lot of choice when to train.
Ok, I am laying down now as I type this and I can feel slight soreness in my hips but the big soreness is my abs.. Getting old sucks! I am on my way back.
I go back in June to the doctor to get more blood tests done to see if my diet and exercise program is working.