July 2, 2019

#TrueTalkTuesdays 43

After being away from the mats for over 7 months due to surgery, getting back into the swing of things comes with several challenges.

Physically, I believe I got myself into good shape. I have been walking, running, stretching, lifting, dieting, and doing everything I can to be healthy. However, my knee is probably around 85%, and is my limiting factor. I would need a few more months before all the healing is done I believe.

As such, I still don’t feel comfortable wrestling yet, and certain positions on the ground make me uneasy. I’m about a centimeter away from a full bend (heel to butt), so any rapid bends or having my knee bent is not comfortable yet.

I am comfortable teaching, and doing light rolls, but not quite ready yet for full live. I’m also turning 38 in a few days, so longevity is my main goal. I do not want to be in this position again in a few months, years, or decades. So a big part of my reintegration is learning from my mistakes and training smart.

So I want to be more careful about how I train. Picking the proper partners (similar size with good control), listening to my body (if I start feeling off or not all there to stop), not putting myself in bad positions (avoiding doing techniques that could put me in jeopardy), and staying focused and alert (not just sparring with no aim).

I do enjoy training hard, but, there is that thin line between tough and stupid. I have crossed that line many times unfortunately, lol, so I’m still learning where it is and stopping in time. I feel I have gotten better at this, especially since I started lifting again.

Before when I would lift, it was always about pushing my limits, which had caused me a few injuries. I will be the first to admit that I’m not a weight lifting expert. So I started reading up, and following expert advice.

That was a wise move. I have been able to train hard and smart, pushing myself without breaking myself. Over the past few months, I feel that it has helped strengthen me and lean me out, so I want to keep that routine going while adding the MMA training into it. That is going to be a bit of a shuffle, because doing both in the same day has proven challenging.

My lifting routine takes between 2-3 hours and is between 5-6 days a week. So my current thinking is to switch to 4 days a week lifting, and 3 days a week MMA. As my body gets more comfortable with the routine, I can add in more MMA, and see if I can swing both in a day.

It’s going to be a bit of trial and error, as I haven’t had the right balance before. So it’s not a comeback, rather a rebirth. I don’t want to be the same man I was before, because that man got hurt. I want to be a new and improved version, that is smarter, healthier, and hopefully wiser. 🙂

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

Comment with your take on this. And if you like this article, please do me a solid and share it with your friends. Thanks!

  • Carter Fisk says:

    I always enjoy reading your insights David. I’m 45 myself and have been grappling for almost 25 years. Don’t believe the hype that getting older sucks because it doesn’t. You do have to be pickier in who you train with and how you train. But ultimately I think it makes you a better grappler vs a tougher one.

    • Thank you Carter. This past retreat I did in Costa Rica had many veteran martial artists, from 62, a bunch of 50’s, 40’s and only a few 30’s and a couple 20 year olds. It was great seeing that all of them were excellent ambassadors of the art, so I definitely want to be in this for the long haul. 🙂

  • Johnny Judd says:

    So, congratulations on coming back smart. I am coming back after double knee replacements. You are much younger and stronger than me, going by your schedule. I lift twice per week and train 2-3 times per week. I’m a 68 yr old purple. I feel great while working out in the gym or on the mat, but man, do I pay for it the day after. Just a matter of time. Oh, and congratulations on your knee flexion – That’s great!

    • Thank you Johnny. Wow, that sounds like you have had to go through a lot more than me, and that’s great to hear you still getting after it. 🙂

  • Hi David
    I enjoy reading your post and welcome back after your knee surgery…..I’m 55 years old and Ive been training martial arts since I was 10 years old. I have taken small breaks on my journey and you diffidently want to train smarter as you get older for longevity. I’m a 4th dan Black belt in Tae kwon do and a purple belt in BJJ. I have supplemented my martial arts training with rock climbing and Yoga and it’s helped me stay the course and not burn out. I wish you a healthy recovery and enjoy your journey as you get older its a beautiful thing!
    God speed!

  • I always enjoy reading and watch your emails. I’m not exactly sure what conditions it could be used for, but I had a badly torn meniscus, that was treated with PRP palette rich plasma. I’m sure your case was more extensive, but I had complete recovery without surgery, only the PRP injections. I was about 40 yrs old and the injury was two years old. I know you’ve already had your procedure but I have heard of some of these surgeries followed up with PRP or prolo therapy to assist in the healing. Once again, I really enjoy these emails

    • Hey Craig, I appreciate the advice. Yes, I did have PRP immediately after surgery to aid recovery, so I got myself covered there too 🙂

  • Ted Carter says:

    I just wish I was as smart and good looking as you. But then I’m 73 yrs old had five strokes three heart attacks. My last stroke was 1St Feb I’m paralyzed from the waist down wheel chair bound. Be careful buddy.

    • I’m sorry to hear that Ted, but you sound like one tough guy to survive all of that. I definitely will be careful, thank you for the kind words.

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