Monday, October 12, 2009

Break Fall Fears!!!

What is a Break Fall?

In addition to something I am currently terrified of doing in Jiu-jitsu class, it is defined as a specific method of falling designed to protect your body from damage as you hit the ground. There are many different types/levels of break falls found in Jiu-jitsu (I don't know them all - yet). The one used will be based on how one is thrown (that's right, I said "THROWN"). In all break-falls, one will attempt to control their body position while partially or completely airborne.

Break falls are extremely important since they allow you to land from throws as comfortably and as safely as possible. Safe fall??? Sounds like an oxymoron, I know.

I found a demo of one of these on the internet. Click on the link below to see the demo video of the back break fall (this is what I'm struggling with, but will keep at it):

Now...after watching that, I think you know what I'm talking about. I've mentioned on quite a few occasions in this blog that this journey is sometimes more a mental one than it is physical and I believe this "breakfall" situation is a prime example of this mental battle.

I have been overweight pretty well all my adult life and I'll tell you, one of my biggest fears was FALLING!! Now, I'm being asked to deliberately fall!??!?! Insane! I don't think the other students in my class TRULY realize just how difficult this is for me to attempt. I know that physically I am much smaller than I was and 67 pounds lighter but my mind has not yet caught up with the fact that I weigh so much less!! I know this by the extra caution I still take stepping in and out of my bathtub (not that you shouldn't be cautious - but I think I do so much more so because of my weight)!!!

Have you ever sat in a chair and have the legs crumble under you because of your weight? I'll tell you it's one of the most humiliating things to ever happen and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Then it was followed by a horribly uncomfortable laugh to try to make "light" of the situation and cover up my embarrassment - it was just horrific. To this day, I scope out the legs of certain chairs before I sit on them, wondering if they're strong enough to hold up my weight. So when I'm asked to throw myself to the ground (even if I am landing on a very thickly padded and sturdy mat and in a gym learning martial arts), it scares the crap out of me - but I'm trying!! I've got to face these fears! All of them, one at a time!

I dread icy winter days for fear of wiping out. I know a lot of people have this particular fear, but the thought of me falling especially in front of "witnesses" would scare me big time!! Living in Canada, where our winters are spectacular, I've had my share of wipe outs. The worst part? The imprint of your fat ass in the snow for the world to see!! I don't even think anyone really looked at the imprint in the snow but I always did!! Crazy, I know! But those weren't so bad because a lot of people fall in the winter time, for the most part I just laughed it off! Oh well, my ass print will be smaller this winter - I know I'll be falling! :))

A big part of this journey for me will be ensuring that my mind keeps up and adjusts with/to the physical weight loss. I no longer weigh 278 pounds (my heaviest)! I weigh 191. The chair will not break if I sit on it. I won't break anything if I attempt these breakfalls. I will be able to get back up. I can do this. There really is a whole lot of growing with all this shrinking!

Anyway, my journey continues.

Until next time...
Joania (2KMINE!!!)


Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

You have done an amazing job! I've never heard of that falling technique!!

Take care,

Anonymous said...

First off, where the hell did you get that picture of me? LOL!

Falling sucks and I am eternally afraid of it. I wear YakTrax on my boots in the winter and they have never let me down...

Enjoys your falls!

cmoursler said...

my daughter did this in her vee arnis ju jitsu classes. It seems to be something where you have to lead with your shoulder and roll. I think you are very brave. You've already done a run, once you do this, you will feel like you can do anything. My advice, just do it. You do it once and the second time won't feel so scary.

Keep up the awesome work.

LAF said...

I agree with the comment above, if you can achieve your weight loss goals, you can do anything. Keep going! I am inspired by your success.

South Beach Steve said...

My son took ju jitsu classes for a while and the break fall technique is a good one to learn. It actually has other applications in life. After all, we all take a spill every now and then, don't we. You'll do fine with it Joania. Just get past that fear!

Fat[free]Me said...

What a great post! It really resonated with me, this fear of falling.

I hope you get the hang of it (a video would be most entert-er, I mean educational)!

Crys said...

I love this post Joania! I can relate to it on so many different levels. I'm clumsy just as I always have been so I'm not so afraid of falling physically, but I could certainly learn some mental break fall techniques!

I haven't lost enough to see a major difference but I would imagine it's going to a challenge to ensure my mind is in sync with and reflects my body. You're doing amazing, keep it up.