It's now just a couple days back in after the holiday and I'm feeling pretty good. A bit sore in the legs but it's the sign of a much needed return to the mats. And while these little breaks definitely help to keep myself from burning out on training, I've been giving a lot of thought to other activities that can help with my fitness level.
For the longest time I've had a fascination with motorcycles and cars, always wishing I had taken up mechanics in high school when the class was available. Perhaps not in Asia but at least where I grew up in the US the class was available as an elective. Always thinking that some day I would pick it up and get my hands dirty. Anyways, that has yet to happen and will most likely remain a dream. Doesn't keep me from appreciating the craft and the 'cool factor' that comes with speed.
The Old Dream
photo from: WRENCH MONKEEES
So in response to me not getting into riding a motorcycle, I got myself a bicycle. I know it's not really a one to one comparison but it's something that I know I can handle, gets me outdoors and promotes an alternative to being locked up in my car, stuck in Bangkok traffic. I'm sure there are more bike-friendly cities in Southeast Asia unlike Bangkok but I've seen it done and am willing to brave the streets. And in my spirit for making things difficult for myself, I got a fixed-gear bicycle. For those who aren't familiar, a fixed-gear bicycle is just that. There is a single gear that is completely in sync with the chain and pedals. Therefore when you pedal backwards or forwards, the wheel responds. There is no cruise and you must continue to pedal as the bicycle moves. Might sound a bit masochistic to some.
The thought process behind getting this particular bike had nothing to do with convenience and had everything to do with wanting an experience that kept me involved and focused in the present. I'm not relying on this bicycle as a means of daily transportation so I want it to be a challenge. I think it's the same quality that has gotten me so hooked on jiu-jitsu. Mastering yourself in body/mind so that you can be completely in the present. I'll admit it was a bit scary at first since it takes some getting used to with not being to to cruise over speed-bumps. Despite the difficulty, it's surprisingly a lot more fun than I had expected it to be. I'm having a great time re-learning how to ride a bicycle, haha.
Activities like this won't replace jiu-jitsu but in the end I think it'll help me to keep up with jits for the long run. I think everything needs to be kept in balance and too much of one thing may lead to becoming one-dimensional or bored. Perhaps not bicycle riding but other activies like Cross-Fit, mountain-climbing, hiking, swimming, kettle-bells, yoga, pilates may work for you. Be open to try new things, it can only add to your experience and appreciation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The Fun Reality
photo from: GLOBE ROLL 1