Things have been popping…

…and it’s not just my joints. Although I did jam my thumb really hard about three times over the past couple weeks. The joint is swollen and looks like arthritic. I’m hoping it goes back down soon. But I digress.

Over Labor Day weekend, I went up to NYC to visit Nerfy. The original plan was to swim a Pro-Am 1 miler on Saturday and watch the Pro 10k on Sunday. The plans were made, the tickets were bought…and then they cancelled the Pro-Am. Grr.

Instead, I bumped my train ticket up to get into Manhattan earlier so I could train with Shaolin before meeting up with Nerfy. It was a good plan, except that the train broke down somewhere between DC and BWI and we ended up cruising into Penn Station about 45 minutes late. I got to Shaolin’s school in the middle of the technique part of class with a suitcase, laptop, and BJJ gear bag in tow. The guy at the front desk must have thought I was a complete idiot, but I paid my $35 mat fee (ouch! But I guess it is Manhattan) and joined the class.

I didn’t do as well as I would have liked (you know, you always feel like you need to represent when you show up at another school) but being hungry and dehydrated didn’t help – my hands were shaking after just the second roll. I did, however, manage to pull off an oma plata on a largish blue belt with a setup we’d been working at Dalla’s that week… actually, I couldn’t finish because we rolled into the wall, but I think I would have gotten it.  On the other hand, a white belt was giving me such a hard time I was getting pretty discouraged – until I found out he was a wrestler. I don’t know why, but wrestlers always kick my ass.

Training with Shaolin was fun – whenever he saw someone about to get a submission, he’d say “make my day! come on!” The guys who trained there were friendly, too – there was only one girl in that class, a white belt, but I didn’t get a chance to roll with her. So where are the pictures of you training at Shaolin’s, you ask? Fail. I’ll do better next time, I promise.

After the class, Nerfy retrieved me, and we commenced our long weekend of eating our way across the city. We started at the UN (drinks at the bar, raiding the cafeteria, and eating chocolate rice krispy treats in the seedy underbelly…er, basement. I hadn’t eaten since 10 AM, so I was slightly wasted on half a Jack and Coke), then followed up the next day with an almost all-day BBQ (thank you Carrie and Liz!), in which one of the guests was bizarrely fascinated with the concept of a triangle choke. I should know better than to try to talk about BJJ in polite company. I ended up sending him this via Nerfy:


I’m sure he’ll never talk to me again.

Sunday started with a visit to the Brazilian Day Festival. We had high hopes for the possibilty of grilled meat products, but we mostly just saw gyro and funnel cake type places. I think there were a few crepe stands and one Japanese stand. Actually, aside from training at Shaolin’s, the most Brazilian thing I saw that weekend was the Sushi-Samba place we passed on our way to the 10k Pro Swim.

As for the 10k, it was freaking awesome. You know it’s a killer race when an Olympic medalist isn’t able to finish due to the rough conditions. Makes me want to start training for those kinds of races again…

NYC Pro Swim Start

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