“Fortitudine Vincimus. (By Endurance We Conquer).” – Ernest Shackleton, Arctic Explorer
The year was 1999.
I started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).
The BJJ academy I trained at was one of the first on the East Coast.
Many world class instructors and killer competitors got their start there.
The training was intense.
It was like nothing I ever done before.
Before each class, I packed the same 4 things:
- Head gear
- Medical Insurance card
I had a notion that at some point it was going to be my turn to take the 2 block trip to the emergency room.
That trip finally came. The ER doctor told me I needed chest x-rays. But we’ll save that story for another day.
When I first started BJJ I was awful:
To become proficient at BJJ you have to learn to deal with BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER people smashing you into the ground.
I needed to grow both PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY.
It’s an ongoing process that continues to this day.
Training BJJ has taught me many life lessons.
The BIGGEST of these lessons is this:
KEEP SHOWING UP.
Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of life is showing up.”
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a microcosm of life.
It’s a long, winding journey.
It’s process, not an event.
After a particularly frustrating training session, one of my training partners took me aside and shared this analogy.
He told me, “Training Jiu Jitsu is like creating a huge mosaic made up of thousands of tiny tiles. Your job is to add one or two tiles to that mosaic each time you SHOW UP.”
This analogy is true for all aspects of our lives.
Accomplishing anything worth doing is going to take more time than you think.
You have to KEEP SHOWING UP to get it right.
It’s a journey that’s going to take you through PEAKS & VALLEYS.
There is no “hack”.
There is no easy fix.
Your CONSISTENCY and TENACITY are your secret weapons.
SLOW AND STEADY
Don’t worry about not moving fast.
There are so many people that have progressed faster in their BJJ training than I have.
It doesn’t matter.
The race is only against yourself.
Confucius wrote, “It does not matter how slow you go, so long as you do not stop.”
Focus on making slow, steady progress.
WHERE DO YOU NEED TO BE?
In life (and BJJ) SIGNING UP up is the easy part.
Doing the hard work is where the MAGIC happens.
Who’s counting on you?
It’s time to SHOW UP.
Create something special.
You’ll be glad you did.