I’m about to do something I’ve never done before. I’m about to start training for a competition in the martial arts. Late last year I started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (again, the first time was a false start). Unfortunately, I haven’t been nearly as disciplined as I’d hoped, for various reasons. Among those reasons are that Katelynn and I moved, and in the last two weeks, I have been sick with a cold. I went on Thursday night and watched the class, picked up what I could, but didn’t train on the mats. I don’t want to get anyone else sick, that would be selfish. It was also incredibly frustrating to just sit and watch. What I love most at this early stage in my training is the fact that I have to put in effort. I can’t just show up and sit on the sidelines, I can’t just train casually. I  have to push myself and train hard every time.

Before the cold ran me down, I was going three times a week consistently. It felt good. I felt confident and saw how much faster I was improving (even if in the smallest way). Now I’m feeling better and I can’t wait to hit the mats again and get back into the groove. With one crucial difference: I’ve signed up to compete with the team at the end of the month.

That decision brought all kinds of nervous concerns: will I be ready? Will I be able to compete well? With the Professor’s blessing I signed up for the event. I steeled myself to work hard and put in maximum effort to be ready to represent myself and the team. Then right before competition team classes started, the cold struck. This week demands my best effort.

‘Anything less than the best is a felony’ – Vanilla Ice


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