Pajama Wrestling — From Monster Mash to Pan Am Gold

Since starting this blog, I’ve tried to keep it general interest, to bring in personal experience only insofar as I consider the subjective perspective more intellectually honest than any pretense of objectivity.  I’ve avoided posts that are journal-like, etc. This is a departure from that. It’s, first and foremost, for myself, a page where I can chronicle my journey through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (“BJJ”).

I started this sport seventeen months ago at an absurdly old age. Last week I won a gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Championships, the world’s biggest BJJ tournament, with more than 3000 fighters from all over the world. When I told a friend, she asked, “You’ll have to explain jiu-jitsu to me sometime. [I can practically hear your brain churning through all the possible propositions.] Seriously though, I am curious; does the blue belt only go with white pajamas or does it also dress up that pair of chinos you only wear on special occasions?  Yes, mocking your (greatest?) achievements…”

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The manly man’s mushroom diet

The manly man's mushroom diet

Or…How I Beat Candida and Incidentally Lost 60 Pounds

As a manly man, it’s a bit shameful to admit you count anything, let alone something as vain as carbs or calories. In reality, a manly man has many layers. On the surface, it’s important to pretend you can’t count anything. You face what comes, whether it’s the next beer or the next opponent, without worrying about long-term issues like being outnumbered or running out of beer. Under that surface, a manly man is highly intelligent, of course, and understands exactly what’s going on — it’s only for honour’s sake that he doesn’t allow himself to access that information.

Still, even a manly man eats. And that eating includes choices. As the author of The Ugly, I tried for a long time to keep my body as close to that of Muzhduk’s as I could. I was unable to reach 300 lbs, but so long as I was over 260, with enough muscle to perform parlour tricks like lifting Honda Civics, I was happy.

Then something happened that dropped me down to 205. I lost most of my body fat while retaining all my lean muscle mass. To my chagrin, I can now count eight individual muscles in my abdomen. The good news is I haven’t lost strength. The bad news is that now I look, well, thin.

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