Where’s Your Head At?

One of the purposes of this blog is to keep track of what I’m doing with my training.  Until very recently my training has been focused strictly strength and conditioning.  Around my 32nd birthday I realized that I really needed to do something.  In pictures I was painfully thin, my back hurt all the time and I was just a very weak person.  After several false starts I began to find my way and for the last 3 years the strength work has been a goal in and off itself and honestly I’m very happy with the progress that I’ve made.  At my best I had added about 400lb to my powerlifting total (squat, bench and deadlift) and almost 70lb to my bodyweight.  I also was able to do something that I’ve been wanted to do since college which is press a full beer keg overhead. J

As much as I enjoy pure strength work I’ve begun to realize that I’m ready for something else.  For the last few months I’ve done Crossfit, strongman and most recently martial arts.  Each of these activities has taught me about training and also about myself.  When training it helps to truthfully answer a few questions:

  • What am I doing this for?
  • Am I really enjoying things or just going thru the motions?
  • What do I want to get out of my training?

When I first began to train it was for a few reasons.  Mainly it was because I didn’t like the way I felt or the way I looked.  I wanted to be able to play with Lilly (and now Harper) whenever I wanted and be able to do anything that they wanted me to do.  And to be perfectly honest when they get into their teenage years having a dad that is 6’4” and 230lb is more intimidating that 6’4” and 170lb.  It’s been a few years now and I can honestly say I feel better than I have since college and that I’m probably as happy with my appearance as I’ll ever be. J

I’ve always had some focus issues while training and for the last few months it’s been barely manageable.  Most days I’ve been just going thru the motions and not really enjoying myself.  So what’s left?  After training solo for 3 years I think that it’s time for a little social interaction and time to start training with a group.  The external motivation of training with a group will be a welcome change and will push me past some of my self-imposed blocks (something that I learned from working with a group of strongmen in Overland).

Martial arts have always been something that I’ve been interested in and I’ve dappled in them a various times in the past.  Most recently I trained no-gi BJJ and some MMA in Phoenix.  The classes were great, the teaching excellent and I always had a good time.  So naturally I started to look into BJJ classes in the area.

These are the things that I was looking for:

  • Class schedule that where I could attend 3 or more classes per week without cutting into my family time
  • No contracts – very bad experience with a school out here while I was in college and I’ll never sign a contract again
  • Martial art(s) that I’m interested in:
    • Grappling based – mainly brazilian jiu jitsu
    • Filipino systems
    • Krav Maga
    • MMA
    • Small classes
    • Instructor(s) that I like

I don’t want to go into a bunch of boring details but I was able to find a school pretty quickly that satisfied all these requirements.   This is link to them:  www.apextrainingcenter.com

  • A friend from school is an assistant instructor; The head instructor is certified under Dan Inosanto and the BJJ guy is a BB under Royler Gracie (for those unfamiliar with these names, they are excellent credentials)
  • They teach about a half-dozen different martial arts that I’m interested in (BJJ, FMA, JKD, balintawak, silat, kali and a few more)
  • Most importantly they have classes that start after at least 1 of my girls is in bed.  I’m three weeks into it and I’ve been to about dozen classes, trained in half a dozen different martial arts and am excited about training for the first time in months.

In a nutshell I’m excited about training for the first time this year and it feels really good.

By the way, thanks to my wife for pushing me to get out of my comfort zone, find a group to train with and to give me the time to do it J

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