On April 13, 2019, I dislocated my shoulder during a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition. It took about 5 minutes and some help from a teammate to get it back in place. A month later during a regular class I dislocated it again (minorly this time; it went right back in) while rolling “nice and easy”.
It was time to get serious about doing something about my shoulder, so I committed to some physical therapy and a break from rolling. This took the wind out of my sails temporarily. Then I remembered that an injury like this can be seen as an opportunity.
More hours were spent at the gym. After finishing up with some prescribed physical therapy exercises, I’ve worked in some kettlebell routines, squats, J-curls, and combat sit-ups. Admittedly, my presence in the gym has been waning. The injury and the physical therapy gave me an excuse to get back into it.
After a jiu jitsu class in which I can only practice and drill certain moves with no live rolling, I come home and reflect more on what we did. I find a similar move in Jiu Jitsu University or on YouTube and study it further. These practices are some that I found very beneficial and can keep doing once I’m injury free. The downtime let me discover this.
The downtime has also allowed me to discover some different practice routines on the guitar that will take me to the next level of guitar playing. Someday soon, I’ll be a jiu jitsu rockstar.
Downtime from injuries can really suck, but they don’t have to. If you’re clever about it, you can strategically use that downtime to really take your game to the next level.