I went to a psychologist a few weeks ago to talk about my Seasonal Depression. She said that there are ways to help. Everyone knows that exercise is great for your mood. You get an increase in your natural endorphins.
My exercise of choice is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Aside from being a full-body workout, a balance of cardio/endurance and strength training, it is an activity that requires your full attention. Similar to rock climbing, you have to have a lot of focus on the sport. In fact, it requires 100% of your focus, or you will lose. Not that losing is bad, and winning isn’t just beating your opponent, but winning over your own mind. BJJ brings out instinct. If you instinctively panic while under pressure, you will lose. BJJ trains you to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. BJJ trains you to breathe through the stresses of training, and you can carry this through every day situations.
So, what do you do when you have an injury that prevents you from training?? I injured my wrist while training in November, working some kimuras. It was bad enough that I could not turn a door knob with my right hand. I wore a brace, and had a great physiotherapist adjust it for me. My hands are important in my line of work. I can’t comfortably perform surgeries with this type of injury. So, that meant training had to be put on hold.
The psychologist offered a suggestion, that I change my views about winter. That I need to spend more time outside. Then I got an email from Under Armour - they were having a sale on winter running gear. Hmmm...
I started running outside, in the cold. Today I went out and the run went quickly, but the problem is while your run, your mind runs too. Maybe it’s supposed to be therapeutic, but I like exercise where I don’t think about work and other life stresses. The run was good, and I feel good that I got outside. It does not replace BJJ, but I know that the cardio is good for me and my training. I’ll keep you posted on how I feel through the rest of this winter.