Connection Rio – July 13th, 2010 (Mad Jack The Hat)

Hey humans, Sunday was quite an epic day, as we all decided to hike up Pedra de Gavea. It was Gordo’s idea, so a bunch of people from the house and a few from the academy woke up early, ready to take on the rock. My alarm went of at 7:30 a.m. and I was feeling pretty unmotivated to walk up there, as it was my 5th time, so looking in the mirror I said "Mad Jack, what can you do to make this hike a challenge?" I’ve done it with a rope and without a rope, then I remembered the cariocas I had seen running up and down bare foot, so with my sandals, flip flops, thongs, jandals, havaianas or whatever you want to call them over my shoulder, I climbed the rock. Gordo pre-warned me it was a bad idea.

Going up I decided to keep spirits high with songs and jokes. They started to get fewer and fewer the more tired people got, but as the top of the rock came into view everyone got their second wind, including Gordo who made a little dash. At the top, we fooled around taking strange photos and climbing to the highest points. The way down is always the worst as your legs are tired and you have to stop yourself with every step. It didn’t help that there was an ant nest unleashed and I’m talking HUGE ants, even Jeremy a 6 foot tall brown belt war veteran let out a scream … sorry a war cry. 

When we got to the bottom, we ate and relaxed. I thought it was best to ice my knee, as the down hill walk puts pressure on it. 2 hours later, I wake up with a burning feeling on my leg. Turns out I got ICE BURN. Having never heard of this, I was in disbelief. 3 people confirmed it and now I have a dirty big cut on the back of my knee that is taking forever to heal, so a little tip for the readers out there: if you’re going to ice your leg, set an alarm clock for 20 minutes.

Training BJJ for the Rio Open is going well and I am seeing new stuff to work on in my game, a lot of Brabo Chokes, Peruvian Neckties, and crazy new stuff to shock these purple belt wearing Brazilians, but I am feeling good about it, just got to get this weight off.
MMA training is getting put to the side at the moment in preparation for the Rio Open, but as soon as that’s over I’ll be back wrestling and boxing again.
The house is full of different people from Cali to glass blowers to English math teachers. The departure of Joe Bedson, one of the longest serving housemates, led us to all go out on Saturday. We started at Bar do Oswaldo and made our way to Emporium a.k.a. Emporio. I woke up to lots of funny stories from the guys who stayed out til 9 a.m.
Tanning in the clouds has become quite popular. We had a big discussion at the beach weather you can get a sun tan from an overcast day. After freezing our bollox off on PEPE beach for 5 hours, we come to the conclusion it was possible. On the way home from the beach, we stopped to watch a display of Capoeira (a mix of break dancing and fighting).
Getting certified ID cards from IBJJF was a task we all did together. Gordo and Dennis took us down to the office in Barra and managed to get us all registered for the Rio Open just on the deadline and it was the day Brazil was playing (the Netherlands in the World Cup). This may not sound impressive to many of you, but if you have been here as a gringo you’ll know its hard to get things done on their "holidays", so we were all very grateful of Dennis and Gordo’s help.
Watching "Twilight" at downtown was a different experience. I’ve always tried to stay away from these vampires cross hills movies, but Christie, Jeremy, and Brigette asked so kindly it was hard to say no. As soon as I sat down, I regretted it. Then for the next what seemed like 4 hours, I tried to understand why people like these movies and what kind of people liked them. I looked to my right and saw Jeremy and Brigette almost in tears of excitement, then it was clear different people liked these movies. People who have the need to escape reality. Not for me, but just a heads up if you’re thinking about going and haven’t seen the first two, then don’t bother.
Gordo was rolling at the academy today. It was good to see how his style was. I was mostly impressed with his ability to remain calm in every situation. I suppose when you have an answer for everything, there’s no need to get worked up, even from standing he remained dominant.

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