*Photo Credit to KP Photography
Yesterday I competed for the 1st time in a year,my second time as a Purple Belt. I was excited to try out my skills with some women mysize and belt level. I walked away with Gold in my division, Bronze in the Open Weight, a huge gi burn across my face and some great memories of what was an amazing ALL female event! Competing in AZ as a female typically has me going up against women who have become my friends. There are only a few female purple belts who consistently compete and after 4 1/2 years, I have become good friends with most of them. Yesterday was one of those days where we have to leave our friendships on the sidelines as we give it our all and go to battle. Jiu jitsu is one of those sports that allows this. It's easy to "fight" your friend and still keep the upmost respect for them! Thank you Lisa, Seta and Kayla for the great matches yesterday and for having such heart as competitors, women and ladies that I am honored to be on the mats with!
*Photo Credit to KP Photography
On a side note, a funny moment that happened yesterday....as Lisa Pages and I stood on the sidelines waiting for our match, the referee looked at us and said "is this Masters?" Ouch!! I think we were a little insulted (even though we both are masters hehe) we did compete in the adult division.
I want to give a HUGE CONGRATS to my amazing little training partner Destiny, she moved up from juvenile to adult blue belt and killed it, taking Double Gold!!! I also want to give a big thank you to Logan, Lexi and Claudio who came out strictly for support! I really appreciate that, it means a lot.... To Sean and Logan for staying after the kids cup was over to support and help coach us girls. And...as always to my husband, who pushes me every day to be my best, keep going when I'm tired and help build my confidence to step out on to the tournament scene!
I want to start by saying.....Thank you Do Or Die/Hyperfly for the sponsorship! I am very honored to be one of your sponsored athletes!
I know when I was sponsoring athletes, I would spend a lot of time going through FB pages, bio's and many e-mails sent to me. Believe me, I wanted to sponsor every adorable, tough, competitive little girl and every inspiring women but, I had to choose only a few (for financial reasons). So, knowing the process of picking and choosing athletes to sponsor is tough so it REALLY means a lot to me to be accepted into the Hyperfly Family!
It was a great feeling seeing my products on girls all over and it's was a great feeling sending care packages to my sponsored girls, being on the other end of this and having this done for me is exciting and an honor :)
Being that I had my own gi company, having an amazing fitting, high quality gi is very important to me! I have 4 Hyperfly gis and they are all awesome!! They look and feel great even through the toughest match!
Shop www.doordie.com Use code Justagirl10 and recieve 10% off of your order!!
I also want to thank my other awesome sponsors who do so much for me!
Oss Arizona! Fixing up my boo boo's and helping make it possible for me to compete in some of the bigger tournaments! Thanks for taking such great care of me and my family! www.ossarizona.com
Thank you to Gi-Soap!! They have been awesome, promoting me and sending me some amazing products!! www.gisoap.com (if you order gi-soap use LESLIE15 @check out and you will get 15% of any $20 or more order)
Thank you to Chic Buds for keeping me in style while listening to my warm up tunes :)
use code LESLIE20 for 20% off
Button Kisses for making me extra fancy with some beautiful embroidery!
Jiu Jitsu is a high priority in my life. I work around many other circumstances to make sure I get it in. No excuses, if you really want to train, some how you figure out a way!
Unfortunately, as I get older, getting the time in isn't as hard as listening to my body when it's saying "PLEASE give me a break!!! I'm old, tired, sore and injured!!" Especially with a tournament coming up.
Training for tournaments has been one of my hardest areas to find a good balance. How much is too much? How little is too little?
Last year when I went to Worlds, I spent some time with a few of my competitors. MOST of them, under 22 years old, no children, no jobs, no injuries, live at home, and train twice a day MOST days. Trying to compete with this can be tough!
The average BJJ practitioner does not have these luxuries...I know for me, I wake up around 5am, go to work as a dental office manager (fast paced, mentally exhausting) get home from work just in time to teach kids bjj class,make dinner and throw down a quick bite to eat in the 15 minute break I get between classes, then jump in to adult class. I have 3 kids, a grandson, 2 needy dogs, laundry, housekeeping, a gym to run and for the past 2 years I also ran a gi company. Luckily my husband is my instructor, so I don't have the "making time for the spouse" issue (which is also very important)
These issues don't only hurt the "mature" competitor, some of my teammates who are younger also struggle with getting enough training in, they also have spouse's or kids or work 2 jobs, go to school or are dealing with an injury.
Finding a good balance and not over training when your not that young anymore can be tough, it's easy to over do it when getting ready to compete especially when think you're not really "that old!" (btw...I'm almost 45 but, let's keep that on the down low)
I have to really try and listen to my body and know when to keep fighting or take it easy!
Please share your thoughts on both issues: How do I know when to rest??? Squeezing in time to train???
It's getting to be that time again!! Scorching temperatures! Causing steamy, muggy, sweaty training sessions! (especially here in AZ) This is the time of year when infestations of ring worm, staph infection, impetigo and other athletic fungi can spread through the gym.
PLEASE!!! Wash your gi (and your body) after EVERY time you train! Don't go out to eat or shopping first either. The longer the bacteria sits on your body, the more likely you are to be contaminated or spread it to others.
Also....if you see anything suspicious on your skin DO NOT come and roll with the rest of us (even with a bandage on it) until you are sure it is no longer contagious. This can cause a HUGE out break through out the gym. If you are not sure what it is, please ask one of your instructors. Chances are, unfortunately .....that they have seen it or had it in the past and can let you know if it is something to worry about.
Staph Infection (This is no Joke!)
Here's some valuable tips and products to help you out!
If your gi is stinky: Use Vinegar, it not only will help get the smell out, it also helps to preserve the colors in black or blue gi's (or any other color) it kills odors without weakening the fabric. It also kills germs and is all natural.
Washing your gi: you need to wash your gi every single time you roll. Don’t overload your washer! You gi will not get clean. I like to use Tide Sport (it smells good and helps remove stains) you can also use Baking Soda or Borax.
Line dry your gi: The Sun kills bacteria naturally. Dry your gis completely before wearing them!
A common cause of funk is to wash the gi then wear it before it’s completely dry. Moisture is an environment that bacteria enjoy, and if you never allow your gi's to dry completely, you’re probably harboring plenty of funky bacteria.
I personally don't put my dirty gi back in my gym bag (unless you want to wash that too) It also can hold bacteria.
For your skin: wash thoroughly with an antibacterial soap. You can also buy products now specifically made for athletes like Gi Soap, it is all natural with ingredients that have been proven to keep Ring Worm, Staph Infections, Impetigo and other athletic fungi off of your skin.
Keep fingernails & toenails trimmed as-well.
*for more info on NOT Fighting Dirty and Jiu Jitsu Etiquitte see: http://www.justagirlbjj.com/1/post/2012/08/fighting-dirty.html