Jiu jitsu this and that. You’ve been there, and done that. The academy served you for some time. You were having fun. And then you got injured. You were out for some time, and sadly, you came to terms with the idea that this game just isn’t for you. It became easier for you to stay at home - the couch is more comfortable than the chokes. Easier and more comfortable can be hard to pass up, and it's easy to take the bait.
It’d be nice to control how life pans out, but sadly this isn’t how it works. You can’t predict what goes on around you. You can only plan ahead, and you can only do your best in the present moment. Still, you have to ride the highs and lows of what's happening right now.
You might have been unlucky to get injured that last time. Maybe it’s happened many times before. Either way, it’s a positive that you are doing something about it. No matter how old you are you need to prioritise self-preservation. It’s one body we have till the end of our time and the last thing you want to do is damage yourself unnecessarily.
Build Your Owners Manual
Imagine a little personal note book in your back pocket. You carry it with you everywhere you go. And in it you write down all the things that work well for you, what doesn’t, and what can be improved on. It’s your Owner’s Manual. Nobody else can see it because it’s all yours. Everything goes down in there and you’re always updating it.
It is your guide when you aren’t quite sure how to proceed. It helps you make decisions that improve your life, and it’s how you learn from experience. This ensures you’re learning from your errors and moving forward towards brighter pastures.
Note those injuries down too. If things need to change, fine. Adapt, evolve, move forward. Just don’t give up.
Moving forward can also be a pivot. This isn't a complete change in destination but a variation of how you’re getting there. Pivots are essential because life will always throw curve balls at you, and it’s up to you to get out of their way. The permission to pivot allows you to find the way that works for you. It won’t come straight away, but you keep searching until it does.
Environment Trumps Will
There is only so much you can fight before you get too tired, hurt, and broken down. This is the fine line between tenacity and thick-headedness. You want to try hard, but you don’t want to break. Willpower can be learned, and it can be limited too. This is why you need to consider your environment.
Your environment is what dictates your behaviours when your brain is on auto-pilot. Auto-pilot is that state of being when you are not actively conscious of what you are doing - and that’s a very regular occurrence.
So it’s time to also consider where you train and who you train with. Not all jiu jitsu is the same. Injuries can always happen, but some gym cultures are more prone to injury, while others aren’t. Find the gym that prioritises your health as much as you do, and this will make your life and your decisions so much easier. You’ll be able to relax, train at your own pace, get healthier, and use jiu jitsu as a way to improve your life off the mats, not hinder it.
The Return is Imminent
This tremendous martial art can teach us and help us so much. If you respect it, and respect yourself, you’ll be respected right back. Be aware of what is happening within you, and around you. Be mindful of your training partners and your intensity and do your best to improve on where you are right now.
In this way you can use it as a portal to build quality of life for a long time to come.
Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Come back, jiu jitsu loves you 💓