Unfortunately, I've been a witness to a few painful injuries that have taken people out for long periods of time or in a few cases they quit and are never heard from again. Jiu Jitsu is the gentile art. But if people don't use control, are too aggressive and out to prove something that is when things can go horribly wrong. Also sometimes new people have a tendency to "freak out" and it can be dangerous for the their partner or them selves. And then too, sometimes it just happens.
The best thing to do when injured is to just nurture your body. Take it easy, rest, ice, medicate, elevate, etc. However, I am not the best at taking my own advice. I tend to push my self no matter what and expect my body to just take the abuse. Thankfully, most of the time it cooperates. But I am still young and I tend to heal fast. Nonetheless, I realize that this this will not always be the case.
The worst type of injury is when you inflict it upon your self outside of class, like I did the other night.
One of my favorite hobbies outside of Jiu Jitsu is cycling. Unlike Jiu Jitsu I have no interest in doing this competitively. It's just something I enjoy to do and I do it quite often. Austin is considered to be a bike friendly town. Perhaps that is because it is home to Lance Armstrong or just because the city has some of the best maintained bike paths that I've ever seen.
Anyhow, so the other night I was riding home by my self. I decided to take a short cut on a gravel path instead of the nice paved one. As I cruised around enjoying the cool nights air, my front tire suddenly hits a buried railroad tie and my bike keep going in one direction and I was catapulted off in the other. I remember thinking to my self "dam, this is really going to hurt" as I flew face forward onto the ground in slow motion.
You'd think with all the millions of times that I've drilled falling properly or the tumbling drills that Richard G. tortured us with in class would of prepared me for this situation. But instead of gracefully tucking and rolling, I face planted onto the gravel path. The only good part of this story is that I nearly missed a large rock that surely would of knocked me out.
In a daze I quickly checked over my body as I sat up. I instantly had a head ache and my face was numb. Had I knocked out my teeth? nope. Where was I hurt? knee. hands and head. Was I bleeding? no...oh wait YES! Blood oozed down my eyebrow, across my right eye and trickled down my cheek. My nose appeared to be bleeding too. I was what my BFF describes as being a "hot mess".
So here I am two days later...the swelling in my lip has gone down, my cuts are scabbing up and healing. I am on the road to recovery. The hardest part for me is that I can't train at least until next week. It's like a part of me is missing. Jiu Jitsu is so much apart of my regular routine. Not having it there has left a lot of open time for me to "be productive". But I already cant wait to get on the mats and it's only been a few days.
The lesson that I found in this one is that in order to return to training, I have no choice but to take my own advice. I must nurture my body and I am. I only wish I didn't have to keep learning these lessons the hard way. But what doesn't kill me only makes me stronger.