|drawing by Luke Chaya|
The benefit of striving is not so much what we get from it as who we become as a result. It is ourselves that we are fighting for – our happiness, our inner peace and sense of purpose.
Recently I've been chatting with a dear friend about the length of time we've both been training and how much has changed since our first BJJ class. For him, it's been 17 years and for myself it's been 10 years. Of course there's been injuries, changes in our home lives that have effected our ability to train and our own ups/downs with BJJ itself. We've certainly both dealt with our share of BJJ politics but at the end of the day, what's kept us going and from quitting is that we have to keep it fun. This is an outlet for us to celebrate life, relieve ourselves of stress and express something that is positive.
BJJ is for everyone. Most of us training are 'average-joe' with an understanding that hard work and perseverance pays off. When you've been around long enough you'll see a fair share of people quit and is across the board from the naturally talented to the not-so. Everyone will have their ups and downs in training, perhaps injury, perhaps life makes training less possible but we never give up. BJJ is for everyone because it empowers us to be better people. Training to become champions of our own life, not necessarily in the cage/ring.
Everything my friend has told me would happen from before I got married to the eve of me becoming a father has happened. He's been there and done that. I just kick myself for not listening to him more and taking things as they come with open arms and patience.
The point I'm trying to make here is the motives that drive us to train and progress will evolve over time. For myself and my friend, we just want to progress and keep training for as long as our bodies will allow. Priorities have shifted over time and that's natural but we will always make room somewhere to train. The outcome of each day on the mat is not important, what's important is that we keep moving forward.
So it's this idea that I take to heart when it comes to the commitments that I make today and in the future. Be a champion of your life, do everything to the best of your ability and keep moving forward.