One Year, What a Difference.

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Since I’m about a week away from my 1-year BJJ birthday, I find myself reflecting back on the last year a lot. It’s quite remarkable the change, the growth that has occurred. I had some pretty hefty mental obstacles to get over. The majority of that ended up being more of a slow development, often times with many setbacks, more so than a great leap forward. Sometimes it felt like I would take one step forward and five steps backwards. Sometimes it felt impossible.

But, here I am, still chugging along and feeling better than ever and proving that it is possible. I really like where I’m at right now.

For almost that whole year I fought with myself, over and over. I was so scared of the things I thought I couldn’t do that I let it control almost every part of me. I was so caught up in my fears and struggles that I let it determine my progress.

It’s amazing what happens when you let that go. When you stop fighting yourself and your fears and start focusing on improvement. As one of my favorite quotes says, “Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.” One little shift, one little adjustment in your thinking can change everything. Everything.

I can’t pin point the exact moment that it happened, but somewhere in there, mostly in the last few months, I found a way to focus on the positive and to push my fears out of the way. It made all the difference in the world. BJJ is still so incredibly hard, but I no longer leave class feeling defeated or like I can’t do it.

Last night is a good example. As usual, I got my ass handed to me over and over.

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Four, seven-minute rounds of rolling and I can’t even tell you how many times I got submitted, and I didn’t get a single submission myself. But, I walked away from each roll with a positive attitude and a good idea of what I need to work on. I was able to look at the long list of what I need to work on with enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn more instead of letting it frustrate me.

What a difference a year makes.

I know what lies ahead of me in this whole BJJ adventure is going to be difficult and I’m sure I’ll face many more setbacks, but I honestly feel like the worst, the hardest struggle I have faced is behind me. I conquered myself and the fears I used to hide behind and I think when you do that, the only place you can move is forward.

The following came from one of my first posts on Ground Girl:

I know that nothing worth having is going to come easy and that the struggles and overcoming the challenges are what, in the end, is going to make this whole process worth it.

Man. I knew my shit! I’m only a year in and it is already so worth it. Every struggle. Every setback. Every challenge. I am where I am today because of those. I am stronger than I have ever been in every sense of the word, because of those challenges.

The last year? So, so worth it.

BJJ “Focus on the Positive” Challenge, Day 9 – I think the part I’m most proud about last night is that I started experimenting, playing around here and there to see what works and what doesn’t. I tried new things. I looked a fool many, many times. Most attempts in experimentation ended in failure, but I quickly found out that what I did doesn’t work. It’s easy to forget that mistakes can be the best teacher. I’m happy with the mistakes I made and what I took away from it.

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