Or as I originally called this blog post: blue zebras and yellow face.

Wow – it’s really been 2 months since an update! Bad Jiu Jiu Bad!

First, the good news! Recently I’ve been doing jiu jitsu again – slowly, once or twice per week. Today I went in and they were having a promotion ceremony and I was unexpectedly called up and given my first stripe as a blue belt! Yeah! I’m a Blue Zebra!

My new Estillo 3.0 gi with a matching blue belt with one stripe!

Where else have I been? I acted in a play! The play was Yellow Face, by David Henry Hwang. It was my first real play – something with several rehearsals, two weeks of performances, and different audiences. And in this trailer I get a voiceover! (Please excuse the crappy fake Long Island accent). I played bit parts, but it was a lot of fun.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ggFdfz4I8]

Oh, and I cut my hair – how awesome is this:

My BJJ friendly haircut. I call it the J-Dragon.

The other thing that has been going on – lifting weights and losing weight. Since my last update I’ve lost about 8 lbs and gotten much stronger. What stuns me are the differences in photos, though. Look at these three photos. One was 2010 when I first started BJJ, one is from 2011 when I was promoted to blue, and one is from today, when I was STRIPED.

Me around 205.

Me in April 2011 getting 4 stripes on my white belt.

Getting my first blue stripe – June 12, 2012

I’m thrilled. I rolled tonight afterward with two of my training partners. I hadn’t rolled with them in about 6 months, and it was really great getting to feel the improvements. One had gone to more of a breakdancing game – maintaining top by moving around a lot. When we used to roll he would play butterfly. Now he plays dead bug. Well, maybe there’s another name – he lays down on one side like a sleeping dog or a kitten about to attack.

The other partner had definitely improved, but I found myself exploiting his sapped energy. I think the weight lifting and running has improved my overall conditioning. He also felt like my energy was fairly constant, whereas his was more explosive in the beginning and faded. I was able to stay strong all the way through and although my breathing did get a bit heavy at points, I didn’t feel the muscle failure like I had in April.

Tomorrow is full rest. When I roll I make sure that the next day I pamper my back and give it resting time.  It feels nice to be back and feels nice to progress. I’m glad you’ve all been with me on my journey.

One of the other BJJ gals at my academy was promoted to 2 stripe white today!

What have you been up to for the last 2 months? Any specific gains in health or jiu jitsu? What are you working toward now?