Feel Grateful To Train BJJ

Sometimes getting to BJJ class can feel like another task on our to-do lists. This is especially true for those who have a full time career, family, and other responsibilities.

Living in the middle of winter in Canada and leaving the warm comfort of the couch and flat screen TV to head out into the freezing night was a major act of will at times for me. A battle in which my will to train did not always triumph.

When I would catch myself grumbling, “I HAVE to go train today,” I would stop.

“NO! I GET to go train today!”

We forget at times that being free to go to BJJ class is a luxury of time and health.

Unfortunately sometimes it takes NOT being able to train to fully appreciate it.

I have a friend who is scheduled to have knee surgery. He will be forced off the mats for several months to recover. It seemed he was just making some breakthroughs in his jiu-jitsu and then…BAM! Injury. No more training for a while. He is feeling extremely frustrated, as you can imagine.

Recently the brilliant coach John Danaher posted about the serious knee injuries that have forced him to walk with a cane. He continued to teach classes, severely limited by his damaged knee. Danaher revealed that he was likely facing a knee replacement surgery that would forever limit his ability to do jiu-jitsu. Danaher said that he may not even be able to demonstrate the positions, never mind roll!

The greatest passion of his life, and the way that he earns his income may be taken away by a knee that cannot keep pace with his spirit to do jiu-jitsu. How sad!

Reading Danaher’s story, I paused to reflect on my own attitude about jiu-jitsu. It is simply the greatest thing I have ever experienced in my life. To consider having my body breakdown and prevent me from ever rolling again is unfathomable.

It certainly made me rethink my casual complaints about being obligated to show up at BJJ class. My body is relatively healthy and I have sufficient free time to get on the mat. The day may well come that I do not have that luxury.

Remember, we do not HAVE to train; we are fortunate that we GET to train!


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