But I’m not giving up.
On Veteran’s day in 2017, my husband asked me to join him at a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. Since he’s a veteran (thank you for your service Babe), I couldn’t decline. At that point, he’d been training Jiu Jitsu for 8 months and loved it.
Despite it being outside my comfort zone, I joined him. It’s been two years and I’m still going. I’ve surprised myself. When I joined, I told myself I wouldn’t put unnecessary pressure on myself — the second it got too tough, I’d stop. I put lots of pressure on myself in general and didn’t want to feel guilty about quitting. I told myself that quitting was nothing to be ashamed about. I’m a full time working mom and doing anything outside of that is difficult.
Knowing that Jiu Jitsu is challenging, I decided not to consider quitting for the first year. Last year on my 1 year anniversary, I decided to stay..for now.
With work, motherhood and life, I didn’t think it was possible to have time for anything else. I didn’t want to put undue pressure on myself to excel at something that wasn’t going to pay the bills. After year 1 was done, I pushed my decision date to year 2. I’d decide if I want to stick around on my 2nd anniversary.
I knew the journey would be tough.
I knew it would be awkward to roll around with sweaty men. I knew I would feel discouraged.
What I didn’t know was how much I would learn, about Jiu Jitsu and about myself. I didn’t know I would find fulfillment teaching young children self defense techniques.
I didn’t know I would fill a void by challenging myself.
A lot has happened this past year. I earned my blue belt in August. I taught my first kids class. I lost a tournament. And I have learned — so much that I can’t remember it all.
Despite all that, I still get tapped often. I’m still weak. I’m still approaching 40. I’m still a mother to 2 children without much mental capacity for Jiu Jitsu. But do you know what? I’m not quitting.
No way in hell.
I may suck but I’m still in the game.
I’m going to dedicate the available time I have for Jiu Jitsu. I’m not going to stress being one of the students that can’t go 4 times a week. I’m not going to stress about missing class because one of the children is sick.
I’m going to go when I can and learn what I can. I’m going to trust in the journey and accept that there will be good and bad days.
Why Everyone should try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
BJJ is the hardest, most humbling thing I have ever done. Knowing the journey would be tough, I told myself I wouldn’t…
It may take me longer to learn techniques. It may take me longer to retain information. It may take me months to achieve the same number of classes as a teammate but I won’t stop.
I’m still having fun.
I look forward to going to class, especially one led by a friend at 6:30 a.m. on Monday morning. He’s smaller, like me,and shows me techniques that work for smaller people. He understands my struggles and my weaknesses. Yet he spends the time — every Monday — working with me. He genuinely wants me to succeed.
If there are people out there that want you to succeed, you want to succeed — not just for yourself but for them. For the time they have put in to make you better.
I’ve made friends.
I’ve met people who challenge me. They work with me to help develop my game. They notice when I’m not in class and text me to see when I’m coming back. They understand when I can’t make it because of the children, work, or just wanting a night off.
There’s a girl nearly 15 years younger than me that I find inspiring. She’s strong mentally and physically. She’s pushed me to trust in myself and have confidence. She’s humbled me by making me realize that age doesn’t mean shit. You can learn from anyone despite their age.
I like to challenge myself.
There’s something to be said about walking around feeling like you have a super power. I still suck at Jiu Jitsu — don’t get me wrong — but I’ve learned a thing or two. Each time I go to class, I’m learning more. I’m making a decision to go outside of my comfort zone to improve myself and I take pride in that. I’m challenging myself and slowly, I am figuring it out.
Since today is my 2nd anniversary, it’s decision day. Do I stay or do I quit?
The decision has been easy this year. I’m sticking around. I’m going to continue to challenge myself and see what my 3rd year brings. I’ll push the decision to my 3rd anniversary.