I have always believed that everyone has a story but not everyone is strong enough to share theirs. Some just live their lives with hurt, disappointment and emptiness, just existing or making the best of what they have. I unlike many didn’t start BJJ in my teens or mid twenties or even thirties. What posses a women in her mid forties to start training BJJ is something most people just don’t understand. I will tell you in two simple words “something more.” Now don’t get me wrong I have experienced many things in my life, had a lot of wonderful memories raising my kids and learned to be the strongest, most independent woman I could be. I wasn’t handed a silver platter in life and I can’t say anything came easy for me but I never gave up on trying to make my life better. However, it always felt to me like there must be something more. Finally being in a happy healthy relationship with the most amazing man, having well rounded kids and a satisfying career you would think my life couldn’t get better. That’s were Jiu Jitsu came in for me….it is my something more. It’s a part of my life and now that I have it I don’t know how I will ever live without it. I’ve been a white belt for just about two years now and each time I hit the mats I learn something new, I get challenged, I fail and I succeed all at one time. I love that everyone I know that trains says that the learning never stops.
My journey so far has not been the easiest. I ended up with a severe shoulder injury just six months in to my journey that led to surgery and a long painful recovery. It took months of rehab and sitting in the gym watching everyone else around me roll while I struggled to do 5 lbs curls with my bad arm. I watched everyone progress, get stripes, new belts and compete in tournaments. I would go home and watch you tube jits videos and anticipate the day when I could go again. I never stopped being happy for everyone I just wished I could get my “something more” back. Many people asked me why I would go back to Jiu Jitsu after an injury like that especially at my age. Those who don’t train don’t understand, it’s my lifestyle now. The love I have for the Jits community, the passion and the satisfaction I feel everyday I live this lifestyle is something that can’t be replaced. Even more so it’s given me an inner strength like I’ve never had. It’s helped me conquer many things that once brought me fear. I feel stronger than I ever have and I don’t mean that in just a physical way, it’s so much more! I look forward to having opportunities to share my experiences with people when they ask because I want other women to get empowered to have something more.
Truth be told it has its moments when my body doesn’t want to cooperate and is tired and broken but my heart still wants to go. Initially I struggled trying to figure out how I could train consistent and as much as my body would take so that I could get better. I am only now figuring out the proper flow for me and my game. Realizing I’m not gonna be someone who competes often or who progresses as quickly as someone half my age it doesn’t mean I don’t have a place on the mats. I’m not in this for the “sport aspects” of it and not sure I care about points or tournaments etc. but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy this journey. I personally love the self defense aspect and just the true beauty of the art. I’ve got a place on my bucket list to compete in a tournament one day just to have the experience but it will be when and if I feel ready. Until then I will just keep giving my all to this wonderful Jits journey that I’m having. I just want to learn from others, share my passion, meet new people, visit new places and experience new things. After all life is to short not to get everything you can out of it. I wish everyone could find something more and embrace the journey of life. That is why I Jits!