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Just recently, while cleaning up some files on my computer, I came across a blurb that I wrote on JiuJitsu. The blurb was titled “JiuJitsu for Everyone Else”. That morning, I was on limited sleep and my kitten had just been hit by a car so my ex and I stayed up all night at the emergency vet hospital. The lack of sleep and emotional drainage I was experiencing probably did led to some subpar writing, but no less I wanted to share. I wrote this blurb to note some of my feelings about training JiuJitsu full time despite that I had so much else going on that required my attention and focus.

I’ll copy and paste some of it here:

“Early this morning/late last night, my kitten got hit by a car. I couldn’t help but think of all the worst possible scenarios but luckily everything came out ok.
During the whole fiasco, I had a lot of chances to think and somehow I happened upon writing about JiuJitsu for Everyone Else. In other words, how to train and keep a regimen for those that have other priorities. I think this is important because not many people out there really understand how to balance life and jiujitsu.
A lot of people think they want to get better at JiuJItsu but what is really happening is they continue to do life stuff like socializing or being too caught up with work.
People like me, however, understand that JiuJitsu, if you want to get a lot better, is a full time gig. It needs to be treated as such or else everyone else is going to continue upwards while you still float above the line. There are rare exceptions.
I often times think that if I had just kept JiuJitsu as a hobby, maybe things would be better for me. What would I be doing?
I couldn’t stand the idea that others were going to excel faster than I was at this thing I loved. I could not accept it. I could not and cannot accept that others love JiuJitsu more than I do. I had to work harder. I had to work smarter. To some extent, I did both. Life kept and keeps getting in the way, but I push through. The situation with my cat this morning illustrates that point perfectly.
So what are we aiming at? For those of us that have made JiuJitsu our lives, we aim for something different. It’s not right or wrong. It just is what it is. I am a slave to JiuJitsu no more than the next person is a slave to his or her career. We make our beds everyday. We can lay in them, tossing and turning as we must.
I think one important concept to note is the idea that we all have the same goals. This, to some extent, is true. We all want to get better at JiuJitsu. We all want to continue to come to class and learn. We all want to practice for the long run. The routes we take along the way vary vastly.
Me, for example, quit my job waiting tables so that I could train. Most people, when I tell them, respond with something along the lines of “wow, I could never do that”.
And so it is.”

I wrote that disorganized piece as a blurb to sort out my own thoughts on everything that I had going on in my life and how I continued to struggle with day-to-day events that kept me from training. The life/JiuJitsu balance is hard to maintain and at a certain point, one must have realistic goals set forth if they expect to succeed.

For me, I always wanted to be the best I could be and that comes at the cost of many sacrifices. For years, I lost friends and I lost a lot of opportunities in my academic and professional lives because I wanted to do more and go further in JiuJitsu. Getting better at JiuJitsu was and always will be nonnegotiable. I made the choice that JiuJitsu was not just a hobby. It was my life. I was going to live JiuJitsu.

Some people tell me that I am lucky to have all that I have and I agree with them. I am lucky. I have worked my ass off to get here and have lost so much in the process but I am lucky that I was able to remove the psychological barriers preventing me from my goals and say Yes no matter how afraid I was of the unknown. I am lucky to have a great support system around me that wants to see me succeed. I am incredibly lucky to have all of the great people in my life that I call my friends and family.

JiuJitsu is my life. I made that choice. I lay in that bed every single day. This choice is not for everyone. For most people, the price is too steep. You are going to have to decide on how much you are willing to pay for it. If you are going to be the best you can be, however, you are going to have to go all in. Make the choice and live your life accordingly.

As always, I want to hear your thoughts. I always read and reply to my emails and comments so please hit me up below.

Best

Ricardo

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