Friday, January 05, 2007

Big Steps and Small Steps

I find that going back to class after a short hiatus can be pretty challenging, especially if that hiatus involved turkey, sweets, and lots of laying around. Of course, for me over the past three weeks, it involved an average of 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night with my two kids. So I felt that my first class back was extra crispy.

After 10 years of Karate, I often saw people get discouraged on their return and then quit. They could not keep up with the class. They did not know the curriculum. They were passed over in a grading. And many other reasons. In fact that was one of the reasons I halted my career in Karate; stopping in the Black Belt Sai Kata in front of all my peers and my Sensei in a weapons class because I did not have enough time to practice it. Life got in the way in a big time. My ego took a hit and I used it as an excuse to throw all my work away... well there was more to it, but my ego taking that hit was the catalyst. It happens to everyone at some point in their life.

The best part of going through that is it prepared me for my training mind set in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. My expectations have a lot less to do with ego (in this case what others think about me) and more to do with my own personal progression (what I think about myself). I do not have to be an expert. I do not have to be top dog. I do not have to be able to kick every one's ass. All I have to do is train.

Some classes I get my ass kicked. Some classes I do the kicking. But as long as I am there, I am progressing, and that is all that matters. This all came into perspective after being a paper weight while getting a whooping from Sam on Wednesday. I was shut down and non-functional due to gassing. Did I learn something, sure. I learn something every time I fight him. It brought to the forefront that which I just spoke about, but I also learned that he is using combos a lot more which means all heavy weights in the Grand Prix this year should be very afraid... terrified even.

So, my advice to anyone who reads this; train for yourself. You do not have to be Superman. All you have to do is show up and give it your best every time. Progress can be slow or fast, but it is still progress. No progress is made if you do not train. Do it for yourself and no one else, that is the key to sticking with it and getting better of course.