Those of you familiar with my pieces know that I’m not shy. I try to approach my subject matter with some sarcasm, humor, satire and let’s be real here, blunt honesty. If you’re new to my content, I’m neither offended not worried if my writing voice isn’t quite what you expect! I’ll win you over in the end because I’m determined like that!
It doesn’t matter where you are, there’s always that one person; the one who’s messy, always late, talks over other people, has constant onion breath etc etc. the thing about this “one person,” is that if a friend approached them privately V the group discussing them behind their back, maybe they could DO something about it. Friends are supposed to be able to tackle these mishaps in life without worry, take them head on together!
So, darlings, let us approach the worrisome subject of self-maintenance, yes I said it, hygiene people!! Listen, I don’t care if you eat liver & onions every day or work in a dumpster 24/7. Everyone must make a collective effort to keep themselves clean so that the mats & your training partners stay clean. So here’s a little Top Ten ditty of self-maintenance to keep your teammates rolling and healthy. ??
* Shower. With soap. It seems self explanatory but even if you were at the gym directly before training, cleanse yourself. Please!
* Trim those nails. TOES and FINGERS.
* For the love of… If you are sick, STAY HOME. Don’t spread your illness to every training partner, who then spreads it to theirs, so on and so forth.
* Rash? Open wound? Not really sure about something on your body?! STAY HOME. GET IT CHECKED. see above.
* We all smell. BJJ is a dirty, sweaty business. It’s ok! They make products to help with this. Please apply them.
* The GI. Your gi is like your badge of honor. WASH IT. The sun and air do not make it smell like a fresh spring day.
* NoGi attire. It’s similar to runner’s clothing. Runners sweat, BJJ practitioners sweat. A lot. After a time you just have to say goodbye to that favorite rashie! If you’ve washed it but still stink, let it go!
* Breath. It’s a tough one. Sometimes people have medical issues and sometimes they ate garlic, onion and everything smelly. Just try to freshen up a tad. It’s not a serious thing, more just something to keep nice for the person whose face you’re breathing dragon breath on.
* Feet. We must bare them to the world. Summer is coming= flip flop nation. Give them a little dusting or quick wipe before heading into the mats. Again, just to be courteous.
* Gi. Oh! Did I mention this already? That’s ok, it deserves another mention. Clean it. Clean it well, clean it often, double wash if you must. FYI: the more gis you stuff into your washer, the less clean they will be at the end of the cycle.
So, I’ve covered the unmentionable mentionables! No-one expects a person to open their mouth and have rainbows shoot out or unicorns as toes… But respect and common courtesy go a long way in keeping training partners. It also goes a long way in keeping everyone healthy and happy!
Andrea Harris trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the MA area. Currently a blue belt her focus is on competing this year. You can visit her fan page.