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- Growing Up Bronx
As some of you are aware, I first started training MMA and BJJ back around 2004. I trained at various places, never consistently, and never enough to get good. But I had started. At one point, I hurt my neck really bad and took some time off to recover.
That was 13 years ago.
Since then, I tried a few different places, and eventually made my way to Unabjj. I wanted to train, but I didn’t think I could do it consistently. It felt out of reach and impossible to keep this up. I was intimidated, scared of the change, I was just fine doing my strength training and Zumba classes.
After taking two trial classes at UnaBjj, I didn’t know if I would join the school. Not because I didn’t like it, but I wasn’t sure that my body could handle it long term. I felt weak, intimated and defeated by the end of that trial period. But I’m a stubborn man, and I hate quitting. I knew in my heart that everything is super hard in the beginning, but generally gets less hard (not easy, less hard) as time progresses and your body adapts. Also, did I mention that I’m stubborn and I hate to quit?
In any case, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up with training or stick to this because I kept jacking myself up in training. Everything hurt after each class since I was overzealous and exerting way too much energy. It made my regular gym workouts and the classes I take and teach too challenging. So, while committing to join, I left myself a way out and I decided to join for 5 months instead of a year. I wanted to see if I could sustain the Bjj training and my regular gym and class teaching life.
At first, I could only come once, at most twice a week. I’d be dead beat by the end of the week, and teaching was very challenging. I thought I would quit because I didn’t want to give up my teaching and I didn’t want to stop lifting. But I’m stubborn and didn’t give up. I worked pass the pain, and told myself, “You are paying for unlimited classes, what are you doing?” My body still resisted, and for a while I could only do the one or two days still. However, my body has gotten stronger, and as I said early on, I knew that I’d adapt. The key is to not quit and just keep pushing through it.
One day, Professor Fred provided me with some words of encouragement that really helped me get on the ball with it. He said he sees how dedicated I am to fitness, and he’d like to see me bring that to the mats. That struck a chord with me, and that week I started minimum 3 days and up to 5 days a week. This week was a bit rough work wise, so I only made one day, but you bet your ass I made it count!
So next up, I extended the 5 month membership to a year. Today I’m looking at the schedule to see if I can still train somehow after teaching my classes and weight lifting this morning. I’m calculating how I can get in more BJJ training nights as well as a.m classes while still maintaining my current rigorous fitness training schedule. I no longer reach the point of near vomiting while rolling, I no longer feel defeated and weak. At times I still get intimidated before going to a new class, and I get a bit tired while rolling, but I’m no longer a corpse by the end of a class.
The point of this all is to give yourself credit, give your body time, and if you at least try, then there’s a good chance that you can succeed. A few months ago, I couldn’t do more than one day of Bjj training a week along with all my other training. Now, I do bjj in the a.ms, evenings, and all my regular training at the gym. I didn’t think it was possible, but my body has adapted, and I’m all the better for it.
Whatever it is you want to do, just go ahead and TRY… You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Growing Up Bronx