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by Tracy Lee, combatlifestyle.com
Wednesday May 7th, 2008...
I spent the early morning hours listening to the rain beating down outside my window. I also spent that time thinking of how beautiful the skies would be later on that same day. It was 7am so I rolled out of bed to jump in the shower after my good night's sleep. I had worked on but not finished my first day's blog so I decided to save it for thursday morning to post.
I was on BJ's front porch at 7:30am and the front door was closed so I got out my laptop and started working. I didn't want to knock on the door because I knew that they were probably all still sleeping but that someone would be up momentarily. I was right, within minutes BJ was opening the front door and looking out the screen door. He said, "Good morning," and held open the door for me. We walked into the kitchen and he began his morning ritual.
He pulled the mueslix out of the cupboard and began grinding it in the blender. At that point he added some vanilla whey protein, and some of the liquid supplements that he takes, as well as some soy milk. He topped it off with a fresh banana, blended it, and then poured it into a large glass. I stuck my finger into the blender to grab a taste; I wanted to see if it tasted as good as I remembered and it did. He also threw back a handful of vitamins and supplements. He was almost religious about this routine every morning. I grabbed a papaya that I had bought the day before and scooped out the seeds. Somehow fruit just always tastes better to me in Hilo. I gave half to Jason, and enjoyed the other half as everyone gathered themselves to head to the gym.
The skies were still rainy as we headed to the gym, but I was still optimistic of blue skies to come. I had jumped in the truck with BJ, and Jason rode with Reagan; had it not been raining, we would have all jumped in the back of one truck and rode over together. As we drove to the gym, I noticed a McDonalds with a blue roof and said, "That's a weird looking McDonald's!" BJ responded by saying,"It's the only McDonald's I have really ever known." I thought about that comment, and decided thats a pretty fair statement as most of his life has been spent here in Hilo.
Junior was there waiting when we got there; morning training sessions were typically strength and conditioning with him. BJ started on the stairs for the first 20 minutes that we were there. Next there were a series of pull ups, then push ups, everyone alternating. Next were a few rounds of balancing squats on half an excercise ball followed by dips. They ultilized the medicine ball in their crunch routine, before doing knee ups and then doing some shoulder excercises.
We headed out the back of the gym where the gray skies had turned to blue. The guys took off on a thirty minute run and I got on my laptop and worked. In retrospect, I should have taken the opportunity to work out. I'm always in a gym lately it seems, but with no time to utilize it for myself. When they came back from the run, BJ weighed himself and was still sitting comfortably at 164.
The guys went into one of the cage areas and took a good 20 minutes to stretch out and wind down. Jason was there helping BJ stretch and work on his flexibility (as if he needs help with it! the guy can put his foot to his ear!). This is always a time when you hear the guys talking shit back and forth and teasing each other for something or another.
Jason jumped in the truck with BJ and I went back with Reagan and Naomi. We made a stop at Koji's for lunch. Reagan grabbed loco moco, a local favorite, Naomi a Koji burger, and I got a plate with Shoyu chicken, rice, and macaroni salad. We ate it out in the bed of the truck and enjoyed the warm sunny weather and beautiful blue skies. As we drove back, I snapped photos of the area that BJ lives in. When we got back, Leroy was preparing BJ's lunch of hash browns with diced onions, and eggs.
We relaxed a bit after lunch then Hoyt took BJ, Shae and me to the farmers market; Wednesday is the big day down there. I had bought so much fruit the day before though, I didn't end up buying anymore. I did grab some red bean buns, and Shae bought a sweet treat that reminded me of a doughnut. BJ picked up a spam musabi and said, "If I could eat something here right now, this is what I would eat." Since he couldn't eat it, he insisted we get it for Jason.
We continued walking around the market and enjoyed the warm sunny weather looking at the crafts and other items that the vendors had to offer. Hoyt came and picked us up across the street from the market and dropped us off at the Penn's offices. Jason was there waiting; I wasn't sure if he walked over from the house or got a ride. Everything was close enough that you could probably walk if you needed to but just far enough that driving was often the result.
The UFC film crew was there to shoot the footage for fight night. They had turned one of the offices there into a mini studio temporarily. I was able to take a few photos before they started, but during filming it needed to be completely silent; I took some shots as they were putting a mic on BJ and sound testing. The guy asked a series of questions, and BJ had to answer as if there wasn't someone there asking questions. The whole thing too maybe 30 minutes, but there was a number of times that a loud truck drove by outside and they had to redo a question.
We sat outside enjoying the sun as we waited for Hoyt to pick us up. Leroy happened to drive by so he picked us up in his HUGE truck to take us back to BJ's house. This type of thing was common in Hilo; everything was close enough you see your friends all over the place. Esepcially BJ, everyone knows BJ in Hilo and honks and yells when they drive by him.
Leroy cooked a lunch of chicken and veggies over rice. BJ had taken off for his daily massage (where do I sign up for a daily massage??) and came back bearing a Koa Wooden Club lined with Shark teeth. The gift was handmade by one of his fans. It was a skillyfully crafted, amazing piece of viciousness. BJ showed off the gift and then went to the kitchen to make a shake.
We jumped in BJ's truck around 5pm and went to the gym for the afternoon workout. We got there early so we could watch some of the guys train; Jason Tan, Kendall Grove, Shane Nelson, Rafael Cavalcante, Mike Aina and more! Rudy had them on a series of 5 minute rounds alternating each minute; One would work on striking with Rudy, and the other would work on take downs or grappling with one of the many training partners on hand that day. I looked over and saw BJ watching the activity in the cage intently.
BJ started his workout at 6pm, hitting pads lightly with Jason. The worked out for about 15 minutes and then BJ put on his gi and joined Charuto's jujitsu class that was going on in the back room. He lightly worked technique with some of the guys there, but exited the class before they started rolling. I caught him slicing an orange for his afterworkout snack. As we were leaving the gym, he stopped to sign some autographs and take pictures for a couple who were visiting all the way from Canada.
BJ stayed in of course as a crew of us went to dinner at nearby Cafe Pesto. Since it was wednesday night, most of them were talking about going out, but none of us made it and we all turned in for the night.
To Be continued...