I definitely should not have skipped dinner…

…but there was no way for me to know that in advance.

Weight Cutting

Turns out I was a bit flippant in my last post about how easy it would be to sweat off 5 lbs. I woke up at around 7:30 and by 8 AM I was suited up with my sauna suit, sweat pants, two sweatshirts and a pair of socks (to catch the sweat that rolls out the bottom of the sauna suit). I spent about 30 minutes riding a stationary bike, jumping rope, running up and down stairs. The exercise wasn’t too bad, but the heat is really oppressive and it drained my motivation very quickly. After 30 minutes I stripped down for a weight check – 176.8. That meant I still had 2 lbs to go, ugh!

I suited back up and decided that I was just going to go for another 30 minutes because I didn’t want to do another interim weight check only to have to re-suit up again. After 15 more minutes I had no more motivation to exercise. My mouth was insanely dry (obviously you can’t drink water while cutting water weight), and was a bit dizzy at times. So, to take a break from exercise but keep the sweat coming I decided to get in my car and turn the heat all the way up. I even cranked on the seat warmers (which are usually my least favorite feature in the car). I was afraid it would look weird if I was just sitting in the car port in the car wearing a hooded sweatshirt, so I drove around the neighborhood. I think I still looked weird – people are alarmed by a guy sweating profusely in a hooded sweatshirt driving around a residential neighborhood with a pained look on his face and a car with California plates. Kinda shady.

Anyway, I came back home, did another 15 minutes of very light exercise and tried again. Whoops – I overdid it this time – 174. Oh well, that just makes me extra safe in case their scale weighs heavier than mine. I showered (and resisted the urge to drink the shower water), gathered my stuff together and headed down to the tournament which was about 30 minutes away.

When I finally weighed in, I was 173.0 on their scale (even with my shirt on). Crap – I made that much harder on myself than I needed to. Still, I was relieved to get to dive into the water and Powerade that I had bought. I didn’t plan ahead for food all that well, so I went down to McDonalds and bought a couple Egg McMuffins. You have to eat and drink slowly after you’ve cut weight like that, so I nursed my beverages and slowly nibbled on one McMuffin. I couldn’t get the appetite for #2 until it was too cold to eat. And then I sat and waited… and waited… and waited…

I think I weighed in just before 10:30 AM, and they didn’t even start organizing for my first division until around 2:30 PM. I had brought a book, but it was a little too tense and distracting of an environment to read. So I just watched the kids and teens divisions go first.

Masters Division

Masters doesn’t refer to skill level, it is a fancy marketing term referring to age. Once you’re 30 in this sport, you’re old and you can compete in the Masters division. That’s why they have Masters Beginners, Masters Intermediate and Masters Advanced (even though the first seems a bit oxymoronic). My first match was in the Masters Advanced division, and I thought it would be at 160 – 174.9 lbs. Nope. They called my name and I walked up to the ring and saw a big dude standing in the center. One of his teammates said (referring to me) “he doesn’t look like he’s in your weight class.” Well, apparently when they don’t have a ton of participants in their pre-defined weight classes, they can decide to redefine the weight classes. In my case they decided everyone from 173 to 189 should compete. Lovely. Glad I did all that sweating.

Well they were nice enough to switch it so the two biggest guys went first and I went against the guy who was only 185. My first match went ok, but I lost on points 10 to 4. Boo. It was a good match – a little bit back and forth, but I guess more back for me than forth. But wait, there would be another match to determine 3rd place. Guess who my opponent was… that big dude. Long story short, I won that one. He got sloppy with a takedown and I caught him in a guillotine choke 🙂 That gives me a win and 3rd place in this division. I’m happy with that.

Here’s a crappy picture I took of the big dude in a later match (he’s the white guy):

Big dude

Maybe 30 minutes later I had the men’s Advanced division (young and old alike). Again they juggled the weight classes so this time it was 173 to 178. Not a ridiculously wide range, but the whole point of cutting weight is so that worst case you’re the same weight as your opponent (best case you’re heavier). Oh well. My opponent is a tall lean guy. Again it was a good match – some back and forth, but he caught me with an armlock and my elbow got pretty wrenched before I tapped. I later saw that guy competing in the brown belt gi division, so I didn’t feel so bad about losing to him.

Once again, there would be another match to determine 3rd place. This time I face off against a strong-looking wrestler. He wasted little time taking me down with a very nice single leg. He lands in my guard, and after a couple of failed sweeps I was able to catch him in a triangle choke. Once again that gives me 3rd place in this division. Hooray.

Overall I’m very happy with how things turned out. These were my first two wins competing in the Advanced division, and it’s nice to feel like I belong in that division. I came home with two medals, a boost of pride, a huge appetite (that McMuffin was all I ate all day) and a sore elbow.

One Response to “I definitely should not have skipped dinner…”

  1. Patrick says:

    Not a single “shout-out” to Milkman BJJ. You should be ashamed of yourself.