As far back as I can remember anything that wasn’t 9-5, 11-7, 8-4 or whatever hours are considered “working” was considered frivolous. If it wasn’t education or employment oriented, wellll many people considered those other activities frivolous, a hobby or a waste of time. When I was training for marathons & other races I remember a family member telling me how wonderful it was that I had an “activity” to keep me busy. I always considered my dedication, hard work & commitment to set PRs more than a hobby or activity to “keep me busy.” I may not have been first but I was accomplishing something and reaching or surpassing my goals.
So now Brazilian jiu-jitsu is my focus and I’m finding more and more people do not understand that this is a lifestyle. Again, not a hobby or busy bee activity. And I don’t mean that you have to compete, win, or crush every roll with friends & teammates for it to be your Lifestyle. If you’re dedicated, putting the time on the mats, gaining knowledge and moving forward in your journey then you have decided that brazilian jiu jitsu is for you, and are embracing all it has to offer. It’s a lifestyle, in that you must be disciplined in order to progress and grow.
Now we could compare to the other end of the spectrum; those people who party, make it their life’s mission to get wasted every weekend, drink like there’s no tomorrow & forget their inhibitions. I guess that’s their lifestyle. I’m not judging, but simply pointing out that your effort and dedication to something; your determination of how deeply meshed you’ll participate- that determines where your journey will go; and also whether it’s a “hobby” or lifestyle for you.
Unfortunately, with any great devotion there will be sacrifices.
With BJJ the sacrifice comes in the form of mental & physical exertion, giving up time toward other pursuits while gaining time on the mats, it may even go so far in the losing and changing of those in your inner circle. Obsessed! Fanatic! Don’t you talk about anything else?! Those people who don’t understand your commitment or refuse to open their hearts to your passion by supporting you will be the first to go, followed by those who become angry because you “don’t have the time for anything else.”
Regardless of others viewpoints, be true to you, to your journey & vision. Don’t compare yourself to others or their accomplishments. That isn’t what this is about. Find your way, determinedly put one foot in front of the other (one hook in at a time?) and enjoy the ride.
Andrea Harris trains jiu-jitsu in the MA area. Currently a blue belt her focus is on competing this year. You can visit her fan page at https://www.facebook.com/Bjj4Women