I’ve been away from posting for a few weeks, for reasons that will happen from time to time.
Every once in a while, I’m going to experiment on myself with something not too ridiculous but somewhat significant, and it’s going to take a little time to process the results.
Like the distinction between the mutually exclusive activities of writing and editing, it can be difficult to delve into something new and write about it both well and simultaneously. I’ve certainly found that when I try new things that are bodywork or nutrition based, my posts tend to get further apart 🙂
You may have seen my Instagram posts regarding my sprained and taped finger. I was rolling on the vinyl mat, sparring in a no-gi class (wearing rash guards, not traditional canvas), and flung my hand out and caught my fingertip on the mat sideways. Not hashtag brokenbits, thankfully, but kind of bent. Flinging, flailing, and jerking are generally no bueno in martial arts from a stylistic standpoint, but they can be absolutely injurious once you pass your 4th decade.
I’ve since been steered by an active BJJ black belt and athletic trainer, Ethan M. Kreiswirth, PhD, ATC of Rock Tape, towards a nice brand of athletic tape to support finger ligaments and allow continued BJJ training, and become very interested in the prehabbing of sprained fingers and preventing what may be the most common injury facing mat-based martial artists. Lots of tape spaghetti piles, penny cutter scissors, and research into training and therapy in the foreseeable future. I think I’ve got the tape as artificial ligament substitute whilst healing occurs thing down; there’s still work to be done on How to prevent injuring and especially re-injuring ligaments in the first place, for those who want to continue being some kind of highly active.
Then there’s Prolon
Cue the ominous orchestral music.
A 5-day, fast-mimicking diet. About 800 calories per day, while still training, working, and keeping up with family commitments. My wife and I did it together, and it was enlightening in many ways.
Her chronic muscular tenderness diminished by 90%.
My mat training was not diminished at all; if anything, while I was still panting and gassed at the end of sparring, my last training partner said, “Dude, if this is you tired, I’d hate to roll with you fresh!”
I lost a little over 7 pounds (3.18 kg), down to within 2 pounds (0.91 kg) of my college freshman weight.
Most significantly, a desire to food Hoover the world and bang my head into a wall every time I saw a food commercial never materialized. On the 5th and final day, I attended a seminar with donuts and coffee provided for breakfast and Costco pizza for lunch. I was able to go Aw before drinking the coffee and nibbling the kale crackers I’d brought for lunch (I could have brought soup, but didn’t think to pack it in a Thermos).
Like the saying goes, it may have been simple. It wasn’t exactly easy.
I’m writing this at the end of the first full day after completing the Prolon diet cycle, and am feeling somewhat stretched like Bilbo Baggins did in The Lord Of The Rings: I am no stranger to feeling like too little butter spread over too much toast. But that may be tax season talking, and catching up with an old friend about mortality issues, the pandemic, and Ukraine.
The past few weeks haven’t put me on top of the world, baby.
It’s prudent to have a test criterion to judge an intervention’s success
Is the goal of finding a taping method to submit every training partner I spar with? No, it’s to not yip when catching the injured fingertip while doing the dishes, and to continue training twice a week — GOAL ACHIEVED.
Is the goal of doing a 5-day semi-fast to feel like I’d found the greatest drug, evah? Goodness, no, it’s to see whether regular life including BJJ can continue, significant weight loss happen, and hopefully autophagy and precancerous growth suppression occur — GOALS PROBABLY ACHIEVED, the last one mostly by extrapolation from studies and successfully completing the fast (more on those in a future post).
When I previously did a ketogenic diet, there wasn’t the usual mid-afternoon sluggishness that I experienced with my previous eating habits; doing the Prolon protocol, that brain fog was absent, too. Not exactly an energy boost, mind you, but again, I’m still working on getting more than 6 hours of true sleep a night, and did I mention it’s still tax season? And Daylight Savings is coming this next weekend, we lose an hour, tight smiles, all.
So. Goals predictably achieved. Some months, you have to remind yourself that this absolutely counts as a win.