Can I do This?
After training for 5 months, I begin to ask the question of whether I could ever get into the shape necessary to do this. I was at 230 pounds and was having a hard time getting below that. It seemed the more I ran and exercised, the more my body wanted to weigh. I was secretly entertaining the idea that my wife was putting body mass protein in my food to keep me heavy so I couldn’t fight. I considered asking her about it on several occasions, but thought better once I went through the conversation in my head, “Honey, are you putting protein powder in my food?”, wife says, “I’m sorry, who are you and what have you done with my husband?”, I say, “No, I’m serious.”, wife says, “Yes I know that’s what bothers me.” Anyway you get the idea.
I understand why the Sumo Wrestlers matches are so short. If they went on for any more than 1 minute, the wrestler would probably pass out and there are no stretchers engineered which can absorb the stress, nor enough spectators to carry the wrestler out of the arena, at least not without giving the EMT’s hernias. Of course they could just bury him there in the ring they spent the last 3 weeks packing dirt for.
Jeremy was continuing to batter me on Mondays. He brought some new talent in to work with me. Well, it made me feel better to think so. I had some trouble initially because they were in really good shape. Picture a three legged cow (Me) trying to fight a kangaroo (Her). But I wasn’t about to let any girl beat me, I mean a woman (Makes her sound more menacing). Sally, like “Mustang Sally”, was a soccer player and mountain bike competitor. She was in really good shape and had limited trouble picking up the skills of fighting. Aside from that, she had these things in her face like tackle I use for deep sea fishing. She wears it well though. I figured anyone who could go through the pain of having that installed in their face was tougher than I was anyway. In a few weeks she was pounding me good when we boxed. I actually had to defend myself from this girl, I mean woman. She hits pretty hard. No really, she does.
Jeremy was now teaching the Friday night classes as well as Monday afternoon. I appreciated this because it saved me from my regular beatings by Cain. I was beginning to think that I couldn’t sleep over the weekend without a good beating. “Please Sir may I have another.” I felt like I was 5 again. “But Daddy, I can’t sleep if I haven’t had a good beating.”
So I took the time to really get screwed up. Since my wifes last pregnancy was so difficult, the doctors suggested, sort of with some threatening language like doctors do, that I get fixed so as not to make any more little Jays. I already had three and wanted a little girl, but after seeing my wife coming out of the ambulance after being expressed to Seattle, I decided I had enough. I went and signed up for the inevitable clip job. All of the guy’s I know who have had it said, “No problem, you’ll be back on your feet in two days.” Apparently their doctors were more practiced than mine. After the surgery, I was swollen up like a bag of potatoes, only purple ones and very painful ones at that. Sorry for the image, but I was out for three weeks. I kept trying to put my cup on and it just wasn’t going to happen. Luckily my job is fairly sedentary or else I would be in trouble. Guy’s when you go get this done ask for morphine. I understand how my wife must have felt after her pregnancy. Sitting on ice packs for a few weeks was a little uncomfortable. In fact, I was using the ones she had leftover. Lucky me.
So when I came back, I was again at 230 pounds and hadn’t run or worked out for several weeks. Luckily for me, Jeremy had some larger classes now and the fight club was maintaining itself without me. I was glad to get back to working out. I immediately started to lose the new weight.
Jeremy was teaching me some basic submissions. I was picking up about half of what he was teaching. I practiced the positions he taught again and again and again. Once he thought I had it he would add to it. I must have been a pretty slow learner because he kept saying, “Don’t worry if you know it, but someone will try it on you so it’s good to know.” I’m still not sure if this was so I could tap out before they broke my arm or so I could squirm more when they were putting it on? I have come to respect the fact that those who know will only teach what they know if you really pay attention. So I asked a lot of questions and was rewarded with, “Here let me demonstrate.” I appreciated the maneuver much more when I was gasping for air or a limb was hanging loose in its socket. Try it you’ll like it too.
My standup was getting better and I was beginning to see improvement in my stamina. I could call it stamina now because I could compare it to negative stamina. I had thought of a new branch of medical science called “negative productivity systems”. It could be applied to people like me who had been comatose and needed to regain all of their muscle and cardiovascular character after having been asleep for 10 years.
I could grapple for 4 or 5 rounds with encouragement. By encouragement I mean Jeremy saying wise things like, “You can’t quit in a fight” or my favorite, “The other guy won’t stop hitting because your tired”. So when Jeremy was beating on me while we were grappling, I just kept my head down and gasped for air. I didn’t get much grappling in, but I sure could take a hit and get choked out well. I was just as sure he had 8 arms to hit me with. No matter how much I tried to hold him down, the more he hit me. He hit me in the back of the head when he was on the bottom? How the hell, I mean “Heck” did he do that? When we grappled, I was sure he had some form of time machine which he could stop time and maneuver to my back and then start time again. One minute he was on the bottom and the next I was passing out from the rear naked choke. For someone I outweighed by 50 pounds he sure is nimble. Probably how he won all those fights.
Jeremy thought I might be ready for a fight in August so in June he asked if I wanted to fight at heavyweight. I said sure, thinking it would relieve me of having to lose more weight. He looked for a fighter and kept saying that he would find something for me. I started working harder and running every day. I started going to the gym in the morning and really put an effort in. I finally broke the magic 220 weight level. I was starting to feel pretty good about my survival capabilities. I still wasn’t sure about my ability to win, but I was sure I could survive. Hey survival is important, ask any combat veteran. I was feeling pretty good and thought I should do well in a fight. Well enough to survive and possibly win.
And then one Friday night Cain brought a new guy in to train. He looked like a square block of muscle with legs. I watched him and Cain grapple and they went at it like two sisters fighting over the bathroom. Rolling all over the mats, throwing each other around and generally making a nuisance of themselves. When I grappled him, he was all over me. When we started, he took me down so fast I didn’t see him move. One minute he was standing in front of me and the next I was on my back in an armbar. Both of my shoulders were torn up and my head was swollen from the triangles he kept putting me in. I managed to put up a fight about three tapouts into our round. He shot and I managed to sprawl. He picked me up like a bail of straw and walked over to an empty spot on the floors. I’m sure he was showing off. All I saw was a blur of ceiling and walls until I hit the mat. Everything he did hurt. It took me 4 rounds until I could even attempt to put a submission on him. When I did it was like trying to cage an elephant without shackles. My effort was rewarded with mild irritation on his part and when he reversed out of my half baked attempt, I ended up on my head in some sort of painful ball of twine that I’m sure will go down in history as the ugliest picture of a tapout ever recorded. Ugly because my butt was all you could see. It was rather large at the time.
His name was Yantcy. It took me a few times of him coming before I could remember. I am bad with names, but my head was always so swollen from getting dumped on the mat by him that I couldn’t think straight. He is very good on the ground and no matter how hard I tried he always seemed to get me submitted. Most of the times I came out with bad shoulders or elbows or some other injury that took weeks to heal. He couldn’t even do a side mount without taking the breath out of me. He played Rugby and was in great shape for grappling. Rugby is a rough sport, I played a little in school. He suggested that I play, but I was sure I had enough beatings in my schedule already.
After several workout sessions with Yantcy I was beginning to doubt my abilities again. How could I get in the ring if I couldn’t even defend myself from him. His standup wasn’t the greatest, but I was sure if he hit me it would do some serious damage. But the fight would be quick as he tore my arm off or broke my skull when he dropped me on it. Something horrible and painful. I wasn’t sure if I could do it now.
One day, we were doing a takedown drill where we had to take one another down and then we would get taken down. I was having serious issues taking Yantcy down, but he had no issue taking me down. On one of the takedowns I landed on his balled up fist and busted my ribs and separated my sternum. I kept trying to fight, but the pain was so intense I thought I was having a heart attack. I went home early and tried my usual remedy, hot bath, lots of water and laying on the bed on my back. The pain was getting worse and my left arm was going numb. My wife called the doctor and he told me to get my butt, and the rest of me of course, to the emergency room. They did a cat scan, x rays and an EKG on me. The good news was that I wasn’t having a heart attack. In fact my heart was in great shape. The bad news was that I had three broken ribs and my sternum was separated. They called in a chiropractor and he put me in a position similar to the ugly tapout and put all my bones back in place. Good thing I was in so much pain, because the initial crack was very disturbing. I felt much better when I stood up. The pain was almost gone and I could breathe normally. The doctor then told me the bad news. No fighting for two weeks and then I had to get permission from my doctor before I could workout.