Buy the ticket, take the ride

spongebob-rollercoasterI’m the type of person who enjoys roller coasters, the scarier the better, and I’ve never been on a ride with more ups and downs, or that scared me more than Jiu-Jitsu. Part of the appeal of roller coasters is the fear factor, but I haven’t broken any bones, needed any stitches, or even just vomited from being on one, but I’ve experienced all of those things from Jiu-Jitsu. My journey has been terrifying at times (especially on Throwing Sundays like yesterday!), but I don’t think I’d have it any other way, or else there’s a good chance I might just lose interest, because one of my favorite things about BJJ is that it’s never boring!

It’s now officially been six years since I started training Jiu-Jitsu, and it’s been one of the most exciting and rewarding challenges of my life. It’s turned out to be more difficult, painful, and frustrating than I anticipated it would be, but the hard work has yielded solid results, and it’s completely worth it, because it’s enabled me to grow, and to have a lot of fun while doing it.

There are so many things I’ve gained from Jiu-Jitsu (strength, stamina, toughness, body awareness, reaction time, problem-solving skills, calmness, etc.), but one of the ways it’s helped me the most is that it’s given me the courage to be vulnerable. I’ve been able to face some of my own fears, and to put myself in stressful and dangerous situations that I cannot control, which has helped me learn to better control myself. I’ve also been able to become more open and vulnerable off of the mat (of which this blog is the most obvious example).

"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it." -Kurt VonnegutEven though I train with people who are bigger, stronger, younger, and/or more talented than I am, and I spend a lot of time tapping out, doing BJJ still makes me feel a little bit like a superhuman, because I know there are many people who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do what I do on a regular basis. It seems as though I fear less every day, and I believe the only way I can ever really fail at Jiu-Jitsu is if I quit, and I’ve come too far to give up now, so I guess I’ll ride or die!

“Buy the ticket, take the ride…and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well, maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.” – Hunter S. Thompson

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