Groundhog Day

For a long time, I’ve felt stuck in my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practice. I don’t have a sports background, and I’ve been out of shape for most of my life. Starting a tough combat sport at 30 is not for people looking for a fun way to spend $150 on pajamas you can’t sleep in. I’ve been training nearly 6 years, and I haven’t earned a stripe on my belt since September of 2014, and I like to say I spent 5 years on the bottom of side control. It was like Groundhog Day (the film), but with bruises and chipped teeth.

Last night, however, I think I broke through a long plateau. I’m trying to develop a more attack and pressure game, as opposed to just surviving and escaping. I was able to mount and take back control of 2 brown belts and a purple belt, and even work a little at setting up submissions. I wasn’t able to finish most of them-the buzzer rang right as I was finally transitioning to a finish with several training partners- but this is still a huge improvement for me, and I’ll take it. It’s only a step, but it’s progress.

I had a facebook conversation about bjj and depression. Bjj definitely helps, but depression makes everything more difficult, and bjj is no different. My mind often wanders during technique instruction, and when it’s time to drill, I’m in a fog. There are times in class where I’ve asked myself “why do I keep doing this to myself?”

I heard a quote on a podcast from a respected brown belt-“I’m not even sure if I like jiu jitsu, but it’s this or suicide.”

Find your “thing”, and a tribe with which to do it. Fiercely protect these things and the time you invest into them. Make sure it has a place in your goal setting.

In addition to bjj, writing is my thing. After I finish my short story collection and 2 nonfiction titles, I’m writing a graphic novel script. I’ve wanted to do it for YEARS, but have been intimidated to try. I have this momentum after getting my first book out, and I want to keep moving. Don’t let me forget. I have a loose idea what it will be about, but I’m trying the foolscap method, which uses minimal notes and pre-writing. I have a sneaking suspicion this will work better than the use-scrivener-like-a-serial-kiler-would method, which leads to overthinking and paralysis by analysis for me.

Life is too finite to stack up regrets. I’m going to keep moving, a step at a time.



Embracing the grind?

Coming in hot for Motivational Monday, I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Father’s Day went well, I felt celebrated, and got to spend quality time with the girls. 
My social circle…ahem…my social media circle…consists of, among others, Alpha-Males (which isn’t a real thing),  type-A personality folks- jiu jitsu, military, and crossfitters. Folks who call each other “bro” with absolute sincerity and have tribal tattoos.  These are my friends. So these people (mostly male) are constantly posting hackneyed motivational memes like the one below, which I dismissed as a dumb toughguy mantra.

I thought it akin to ‘keep on keepin’ on”- just move forward.  Accept that your life will suck. 


But I was wrong.  I  was thinking about the phrase and something just clicked for me.  That’s not embracing. An embrace is fond, close, intimate. “Embrace the grind” turns out to be a mature message- it could be restated as “Appreciate the circumstances which may cause you to thrive or fail based on your ingenuity and drive”.  That’s basically the concept behind this blog.
I like it.  I embrace it.  I embrace Embrace the grind.
And in the spirit of doing such- I’ve started a new project.  I don’t want to spill the beans too much, because my idea can easily be stolen, but I found a way to give back to the jiu jitsu community.  It will be a website that provides goods or services no one is currently furnishing.  I hope it becomes the default landing page for people in a specific situation.
That’s all I can really share, I’m playing my cards close to the vest because I think I’ve found something really good.  Sorry for all the mystery.
Really though-  I am very sorry for pick-up artist Mystery.  I’m sorry he has been able to cash in on insecurity and make a living exploiting people. 
To be clear, my circle also includes engineers, poets, mechanics, musicians, and many other great, amazing people who are more than their job or hobby.

Also, I’m transitioning my blog hosting to wordpress- their interface, hosting tools, commenting-everything is much more akin to my style.  It plays nicer with twitter and facebook. In fact, when I started this blog  (which started as a free blogger blog, until bought a domain with money from selling stuff I found at Goodwill on Ebay)  I had a synchronized version of the blog on wordpress, so it’s already set up, I just have to change my domain hosting account and import my most recent content.   My links, facebook page, twitter, info will not change.  I think this will be a big step in me being able to produce content on a more frequent basis. 

And that’s what this is all about.