Doll on table with brown hair and red glasses.

Things To Do While Ill: Week 15/16 of Jiu-Jitsu

This text is brought to you by a fever-addled brain turning itself off intermittently. Bear with.

After my not good performance at class on week 14, life went a bit sub-par. I’ve seen a lot of my sofa, bed and occasionally the doctor’s office or my own office since then.

How to Down-Shift Your Work and BJJ Life Effectively:

  1. Thursday: get the flu.

    Person with red-rimmed glasses and red cheecks, staring at camera in a pyjama.
    Illness chique.
  2. Friday to Sunday: fun flu times.
  3. Monday: go back to work.
  4. Wednesday: go train and have fun with back chokes for 90 minutes. Feel brilliant.
  5. Thursday: come home from work sweating, spent the evening developing a fever and several migraine auras.
  6. Friday: I’m in love. Except no, go to the doctor to be told you now have a new respiratory infection (possibly influenza), get more sick leave.
  7. Saturday and Sunday: ache all over, cough, wheeze, fall asleep every now and then. Don’t go to the work commitment you were supposed to spend the entire weekend helping out at.
  8. Profit???

Forced Rest is not all that Great

Once again, I’m frustrated. I just want to work and train and have the energy to do other fun or important stuff. It doesn’t really help that some of the common wisdoms thrown around in BJJ circles feel a bit demoralising when you’re not feeling well physically:


“No grappling when ill! Stay off the mat ‘till you feel fine.”

“Consistence is key if you want to keep improving! Taking breaks from classes dulls your acquired skills and slows your progress!”

“To improve, what truly matters is hours on the mat, no shortcuts!”

“Beasts heal faster! Ruaargh!”


Of course, it is also said that the jiu-jitsu “journey” (I have slight problems with that term, it can imply that there would be some goal or endpoint or destination that we are expected to reach) is not supposed to be straight forward. People get injured, move cities, are busy at work, get pregnant, don’t have the money for classes all the time. The mat is still there when I feel better, and I’m not going to forget every single thing I’ve learned by then.


Of course, spoons permitting, there are things you can still do when you are forced to take a break from jiu-jitsu classes due to illness:

Notebook with birds and flowers on it.
I write a bit about every class in this subtle notebook.
  • Leaf through your BJJ class notes, if you keep things like that. I do, although they are very general, with me not knowing almost anything about any techniques yet.
  • Watch YouTube videos about cool moves or helpful tips for white belts. Or don’t, if it makes you feel all sad. It’s okay to watch children’s cartoons and true crime shows as well.
  • Get some rest! Your body needs to heal. If you can’t get through the day without two naps, don’t. This I luckily learned when recovering from brain surgery already.
  • Search online for new BJJ gear. What, of course I need rainbow spats!
  • Try to eat at least something. If you care or worry about muscle decay, get enough protein. If you don’t, that’s fine.

If I survived this bout of illness, I’ll try to attend my first seminar next week. Exciting!



*featured image borrowed from here. A former coworker thought the doll in the picture looked like me. 

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