Jiu Jistu is by far on of the most challenging yet rewarding things I have ever done. I think it is for most everyone that trains in the sport but for some of us the challenges have more layers. For me it’s this place that can take me down the rabbit hole further than I ever wanted to go yet later gives me freedom in that very place. It’s more than being in a bad position or being defeated. It’s working through my worst nightmare and picking myself up to go back the next day. It’s staying and finding that inner strength that makes me fight back when I don’t feel strong. It’s not allowing a bad night to take away all the progress I’ve made. It forces me to face my fears and not allow them to have control over me. It breaking the chains one by one and bringing me one step closer to freedom.
Last night I realized how many bad moments I keep to myself these days. The people I used turn to, my coach, my dearest friends and even my husband who I used to run straight to for comfort I have now put up walls around. I have been masking the pain, only sharing and shedding light on the victories and overcoming to those around me. These moments fill my heart with joy, they show my progress and I am eager to share with my coach or loved ones. However, the moments that take me to a dark place–the bad nights I now keep to myself. These are the nights where I jet out of the gym quickly to avoid talking to anyone or making eye contact because I don’t want anyone to see my pain. These nights I go home and go straight to the shower so I can cry in secret. If anyone does ask if I’m ok I am diligent to play it off that I’m fine. Somewhere along the way the outward appearance that I’m okay has become more important than allowing those around me to give me the love and support I need to truly be okay.
I think there is a part of me that is embarrassed and frustrated that I still find myself in these places. That if someone knows of my hard times it takes away from my progress or strength in their eyes so I hide it. All these realities I had to face last night when my coach text me acknowledging that I had a ‘bad round’ and while yes I did respond and was open about what happened I knew that because in the end it didn’t have an overcoming , a new victory I would have never brought it up to her. Even though a dear friend was sitting right next to me at the gym and saw the tears in my eyes I still gave the thumbs up and tried to play it off I was fine. When she text me later that night not wanting to pry but asking in love if I was truly ok I admitted that in that moment no I was not. I admitted that I still have bad moments and days and that IT SUCKS! At some point something triggered something in me that caused me to feel ashamed of these moments to where I deny them to those that love me the most. My friend’s response reminded me that pushing through these show my strength not weakness. The words she wrote I will never forget, words my heart needed to hear last night “You inspire by being brave even when it’s tearing you apart. I admire that strength”.
It made me realize I need to cut myself some slack, that’s its ok to not always be ok. Being ok does not determine my strength, continuing to fight through my inner battles does. A setback does not mean defeat. In the end I’m doing the best I can and I am doing something that a lot of people are not able to do. That in itself is a victory and that takes and incredible amount of strength and courage. While most will never understand what I go through or how much I have to endure I am not alone in my journey. And while it’s not necessary for me to share all the details of my journey with everyone along the way it’s also not necessary for me to put on a front. I have to let go of the fear of judgement. Those who love me will not judge me, they will love and support me which will allow me to continue to heal and move forward. I don’t know how long it will take but I know I’m in the right place with the right people to someday fully overcome this and for that I am grateful!