Over the past 2-3 days I have been sending off the link to my blog to some of my close friends and a couple of other people that will inevitably end up in my blog probably quite regularly. I value their opinions and knowing my friends, they would outright tell me if it sucked.
The question I got from each of them was “What ever possessed you to want to write a blog?!” or some were more like…“what the heck? Now you’re a blogger?!”.
The most resounding comments however were the words of encouragement. I expected them from my girlfriends but I did not expect them to come so loudly from my past students. I literally teared up from emotion when I read them.
Here are some of their reviews:
“It’s absolutely beautiful. I am very proud of you and have a surprise for you in February. You being who you are, has inspired me in many ways. You inspired a lot of us.” – Frances D.
“Your blog is amazing! I just finished reading it. I read it start to finish. It was like one of those really good books you couldn’t put down. It made me laugh and brought me back to thinking about when I was in your class and what I learned from you. Then when talking about your mom I started thinking about my grandpa that passed away and how much I missed him on Christmas Day. And your Jiu Jitsu experience is described so well it’s like I was the one who put the pants on backwards.” – Jennifer H.
Exposing your inner thoughts to others is very scary. We are taught to not let anyone know our next move or anything about ourselves – the number one reason is because of the haters out there. They will go out of their way to crush you due to their own incapacitation to be happy for others. Telling people about your own successes is viewed as narcissistic but what if all you wish to do is use this as a tool to inspire yourself or others. Isn’t writing in a diary as old as cavemen time? Weren’t there drawings on the wall? What about Instagram, Facebook, Twitter?? We all share our stories because we seek validation from others. It is what we need as a human race unfortunately modern society also puts us in huge states of anxiety. And yet, we share our successes hesitantly because we are all afraid of rejection. What if it isn’t any good? What if I can’t stick to blogging or worse yet, I give up on Jiu Jitsu? Will I be letting anyone down, namely myself?
I started writing this blog for myself. To keep ME inspired to continue. To have a central place to jot my thoughts and my findings on the internet. My repeated Google search is always “female Jiu Jitsu” or “inspirational quotes” (I’m a sucker for the quotes). Then I started sharing my journey at school with my students. At first, it was just the female students, then the male students got very involved and wanted to hear my stories. It got to the point that for the first 5-10 minutes of each class after Jiu Jitsu the previous night, they would want to hear about my mishaps or musings laughing at how excited I was to show them my latest bruise on my arm or cut to my finger from a fellow grappler’s toenail.
Fast forward to this blog – now I am having fun writing. I used to write stories years ago but never shared them with anyone. Threw them in a fire pit one very emotionally downward slope of a weekend and maybe one glass of wine too many. Writing helps with preventing Alzheimer’s, the brain is a muscle afterall – with menopause around the corner, I now need all the help I can get.
Past and current students seem to look towards me for inspiration – for whatever crazy reason, they like hearing my stories. In turn, I oblige. Truth is, they inspire me just as much. They remind me what it was like before adulting; divorce, bankruptcy, layoffs, difficult child birth, depression, loss of home – being ever so grateful of having such amazing parents as I have that when I didn’t have two nickels to rub together, they took my baby and I into their home until I got back on to my feet. My students (which ultimately end up being my kids too) are the number one reason I get up and go to work. They make my day. They remind me to be happy with life in general.
How does this all relate to Jiu Jitsu?
It’s hard to fight depression or a warm cozy living room with the fireplace crackling while you hear the freezing rain come down in buckets outside. The thought of having to put on that Gi, trying to fit my rolls into the dreaded pants that I can’t seem to keep from falling – will I look like a turtle on my back because I can’t hop on to my elbow while in open guard – will I yelp at my backpain when doing bear crawls or forward rolls – will I look like an overall overweight out-of-shape idiot?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Lead by example. Don’t give up…tomorrow is a new day.