It’s a simple question but it’s one that was proposed to me the other day by a co-worker. He asked why I needed to leave work early to go to the hospital, and I just plainly stated that I was going to go get a bit of blood drained from my ear. That quickly prompted the “So you do the whole UFC thing?” statement.
I said no, I don’t do the “UFC thing” and that it was from Jiu Jitsu and it was a fairly normal thing to get. The co-worked just simply said
“I just don’t understand why anyone would put themselves through that stupidity.”
That being said he is also the same person who thought I was clinically insane when I ran Tough Mudder. The end result was surprising though. I actually started to think, why do I train? I have only been training Jiu Jitsu for a little over 6 months and since the first time I stepped onto the mat, which happened to be an open mat with Exor and Mark, just the three of us, I haven’t been able to stop. To me it has almost become a part of me as a human being. Training is now just as normal and routine as eating or sleeping. The thing is, I don’t know why. If you told me that I would train for the rest of my life and there was no goal, I would stay a white belt forever; I would be fine with that. The realization of that blew my mind.
Everything I have ever done in life has a goal, but Jiu Jitsu. The more I thought about it, the more it became clear. I train because it truly makes me a better person, and plainly, I want to get better. It’s not the art that is doing it, it’s the people I am training with. No matter whom it is. If it’s Markezinho who has been a true ambassador of the sport and always has a smile, even when he’s tapping you with one finger and fighting an injury that would sideline a lesser man. Or Exor, who is fairly quiet in my opinion but will help you at anytime and is an inspiration that you can balance training and work in the military and be incredibly talented. It’s not just the people ranked higher than me, but also the other white belts. I can’t speak enough about Ed, from the day I started, at the beginning of every roll its “what do you want to work on?” Or Jia who’s ungodly flexibility has forced me to work technique and not just force something, which is a life lesson itself. I could go on and on about every person I have ever spent any amount of time with on the mat. Carlos, Angel, Joker, Brian, Ryan, Tony, Ms. Fritz, Mrs. Cedio. I mean the list is huge. Every person brings something to the table that everyone else can learn something from. One of my favorite quotes is from Bill Nye,
“Every person you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” He may have meant knowledge wise, but I think if he had trained Jiu Jitsu, he might have changed that to
“Every person you will ever roll with has something to teach you about being a human being”