Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chore or Chance?

Do you have the same excitement for BJJ as you did when you first started training? I remember what I was like during that first year. Poor Ben. My instructor would get to the class (which was held at a local high school) and find me and Stephanie already waiting outside the locked door. From the moment he arrived we would start talking to him. Our questions were endless. What should we be doing to get ready for a competition? What was that side control escape you showed us three classes ago? I keep getting triangled when I pass guard and I don't know why. Can you help me?

We were out of shape then, but we made up for it with sheer zeal. There was a lot of laughing and goofing off between me and Steph, but we soaked up as much of what Ben was saying as our newbie brains could manage. After class, we usually pounced on Ben and picked his brain about various positions. It wasn't uncommon for him to stay after for 30 minutes or more giving us what I now realize were free private lessons. lol

We never missed a class except for grievous physical injuries or natural disasters. 

Once we started training at Fabio's, the obsession deepened. We couldn't get enough of BJJ. We had finally begun to grasp the concepts and we wanted more! 

Now, 3 years later, things are a bit different. I went from being a youth minister/stay at home mom to having a more demanding job time-wise. There are some days that I am so tired after work that I contemplate whether or not I want to go to class. I know many of you have felt that way before.

So what is it that is keeping me on the mat 5 or more times a week?

I know I talk to women who dread going to the gym. They hate the treadmill. They have to drag themselves onto it. Why do they go? Maybe it's guilt? Maybe they really want to lose weight? Maybe they feel they need to be healthier? Maybe someone is pressuring them to be there?

I go to BJJ for health and fitness. But more than that, I go because I STILL love the art. When I see something new, I still get that same excitement I got when I first started. I still sit at home and think about ways I can move differently. I still stay after class sometimes working out problems with other higher belts.

What keeps a BJJ practitioner on the mat is love. We go and we keep going because we love the sport/art. Anyone who comes into BJJ and does not really love it won't last very long. It is hard. It is time-consuming. It is mentally and physically exhausting. You get injuries. You get sore muscles. You get your hair pulled out and you have to keep your nails short and blah, blah, blah.

Doesn't matter.

For me, when it's love, you do whatever it takes. When it's love, going to class isn't a chore. It's a CHANCE to see something you haven't seen before. It's a chance to grow.

What things keep you coming back to your BJJ school?


Unknown said...

Great question. I was actually a little burned out on jits for a while. Personal life got hectic and I ended up taking about a year off.

Last October, I started training regularly again and have fallen back in love. In many ways, I feel like I did when I first started.

But to answer your question, it's always about the people for me. What I'm doing is often less important to me than who I'm doing it with.

Anonymous said...

When you love something you will absolutely 100% make time for it. I completely agree.

Anonymous said...

I've never felt like BJJ is a chore, but man, these days it feels like a job. A job I love, but a job nonetheless. Granted, I work at the gym and train like a pro athlete, but sometimes I just want a break and I can't take one. "Days off" from the gym only happen once a week--Sunday.

I always think of it like this, though. Even though the romance is gone for me and BJJ (we've been together a long time now), we're more like an old married couple that is perfectly content to turn their hearing aids off and pretend each other don't exist while sitting in the same room.

But what makes me come back? True love. That's all.