Rolling with the Punches | Jennifer Dietrick

December 2, 2015

Just as I was all healed and training for another tournament, my pinky finger bent in the opposite direction during rolling in jiu jitsu class. I saw it happen and knew I was going to be out from rolling for a while with limited/altered gym time. During that same week, my dog had multiple vet visits for some serious health concerns. I believe some things happen for a reason, as did the timing of my injury and Titan's health issues. I needed to be home more often to help him when I was limited with my gym time during the first week of my injury. Both of us needed to heal, so it worked out well. I'm usually so frustrated when I can't train 100%, but felt more at ease with accepting the situation. I've certainly learned from past injuries, that coming back too soon or staying frustrated, does not help with recovering.

My pinky was expected to heal in about 4-6 weeks. It's currently about 4 weeks and the pain is only about 20% with any pressure/movement and the range of motion is about 80%. After the first week when all the major swelling went down, I chose exercises that didn't need a tight grip or any grip at all. In jiu jitsu class, I worked on guard defense drills where we do not use your hands. I am recently able to do the drills at the start of class and hope to be back to rolling with taped fingers within 2 weeks.

I was upset that I couldn't enter another tournament in 2015, yet grateful that I had the opportunity to compete in 8 of them this year. In a perfect world, I would have liked them to be more balanced throughout the year, but it all worked out how it was suppose to be. I don't like to take too much time off from tournaments, since competing often helps me perform better. I'm planning to enter Gracie Nationals at the end of January. It's an understatement to say I'm beyond excited to train 100% and compete next year.

I find that discipline comes fairly easy to me, yet I can be too rigid with my schedule. Times like these I need to adjust, go with the flow, and accept that it didn't work out as the original plan. I remind myself that a part of staying balanced is dealing with setbacks, whether minor or major, and realizing life isn't always a perfectly balanced schedule. I did what I was able to do in the gym and made sure I was still moving forward even if it wasn't at my regular pace.

I find that whenever I have had a break due to injury, it actually helps in my jiu jitsu progress. I usually end up flowing better with the mental break, since I'm usually in my head too much. I also was able to train more bodybuilding, which always benefits my body to become stronger and stay balanced. I used this time wisely and added more flexibility training which increasing it was one of my goals for the year.  I do know that I feel even more motivated with the longer than expected break. I enjoy the challenges of competing on a regular basis and look forward to returning to that schedule. Look out for my next 5 fave video for triceps and stay tuned for next month's blog. Happy training!

-Jennifer Dietrick

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