And Why I'm So Grateful to Have Found It
All my life I've been an active kid - I'm convinced that when I was born, my dad didn't think he was going to have a boy so he put me in ALL the sports; you name it, I've probably tried it. As I got older, I started to focus my attention on my first passion - basketball. I played 4 years of varsity basketball in high school, but quickly realized that in order to play college ball, I'd have to grow another 24 inches or some wheels on my feet overnight. With that dream to continue basketball out of the window, I started looking for other forms of fitness.
In college, I started working out in the gym, and lifting weights, in all honesty, to combat the Freshman 15 I embarrassingly put on. Sigh. But what weight training also did for me was teach me consistency and discipline. These principles would later become important pieces in my life.
After grad school, I began my first job. With that change in lifestyle, I started questioning my intentions with lifting weights. The more I looked into it, the more I realized that it became a routine and something that I didn't feel like challenged me or helped me create goals - so what was the point? With these questions haunting me for weeks, I went on a search for something, anything different. I cancelled my 24 hour fitness membership & went on a hunt. That's how I came across Mercado Muay Thai & Fitness.
Right when I walked into MMT, I had a good feeling about it. The staff was great, the facility was awesome - they had Muay Thai classes, cardio kickboxing classes, and Jiu Jitsu classes. I remember seeing the Jiu Jitsu classes, but was too intimidated to try it - until a friend encouraged me. Little did I know, I was trying something that would change my life.
At first, and this probably resonates with most of you, Jiu Jitsu was a little awkward - being in such close contact with another person, and fighting for positions that were so uncomfortable and unnatural. The first 6 months were ROUGH. But then it got a little better, I started picking up the concepts, and although I wasn't good at them, I started understanding some of the techniques. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn, and the more I realized that I have so much to learn. Every training session was an opportunity to improve at this game of human chess.
In Jiu Jitsu, there's a counter to every move, and a counter to every counter, and a counter for that counter, and... well, you get the point. It's never-ending - which is what makes it such an exciting sport. Jiu Jitsu not only broadens your combat skills, but it also teaches you patience, critical thinking, strategy, and composure under some really terrible circumstance (i.e. someone trying to choke the crap out of you, or someone shoving their shoulder into your neck lol). It pushes you out of your comfort zone - i mean WAYYYYYY out of it.
So here I am now a year later - training with a great team, and a business created around a passion to help grapplers recover faster, fight smarter, and live better. It's funny how in life you stumble on things that have such an impact on your life. I'm grateful to have fallen into Jiu Jitsu, and can't wait for the experiences and lessons to come.