The first step

24774944_10105696899280252_4870192948047417889_nTwo years ago, I started training in Brazilian jiu jitsu.

Anyone who has trained can tell you that it’s not easy. When you start, you’ll be exhausted, bruised and sore, and the vast majority of the time you’ll get your butt handed to you repeatedly. This doesn’t really change, as there are always more experienced people you will encounter, and there are always new things to learn. As one of my coaches says, every technique is like a drop of water in an ocean.

But I’ve learned that’s what keeps me going back to jiu jitsu, after a long day at work or in the winter evenings when it’s pitch black outside and I’d much rather stay home where it’s warm and where I can’t be choked with my own clothing. The road of BJJ is paved with mini-epiphanies: small breakthroughs that reward one’s hard work, sweat and sore muscles.

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I earned my blue belt this week. I didn’t see it coming, and I was very much caught off guard. To be honest, right now I don’t think I’m ready for it. But I have faith in my coaches that I am ready for this belt: a representation of the next step in my jiu jitsu journey.

My jiu jitsu club is like a second family to me, and it’s a little overwhelming to have so many supportive people helping me learn and grow – even when they smash me in rolling. As it turns out, tough love is the best love.

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