For me, the hardest part wasn’t going to be signing up for a membership. It wasn’t going to be figuring out how to wear my gi or spending hours researching about it online. The hardest part was going to be walking through the front door. I knew that once I showed up and people saw me there I would have to do it.
Something about Jiu Jitsu had been calling my name. I knew I had to try it but I was scared. When I stepped onto the mats for the first time, my heart was beating in my throat and doubt was flooding my mind. But after my first class, I was completely captivated. After giggling my way through the first half of class, making somewhat of a fool of myself trying to maneuver around the floor, I suddenly realized that I was having fun. A lot of fun! And after about a week I was hooked. I found myself loving my body, not for what it looked like but for what it was capable of doing; for the power it possessed. I learned that I could do things I never thought possible. Jiu Jitsu was becoming fascinating and thrilling to me. It made me feel the way I did when I was a ballet dancer in my youth. It had everything I wanted: Discipline, grace, rhythm and technique. Jiu Jitsu reignited my love of moving across the floor. It awakened in me a passion for strategizing against an opponent. For me, Jiu Jitsu is not about fighting or prevailing. It is a choreographed dance between two people. It is about conquering your fear, testing your body, engaging your mind and perfecting your skills. It is about respecting yourself and respecting your opponent.
Walking through the front door of the gym would still be difficult if it weren’t for Dave, my instructor. But his passion and dedication to the sport make it easy for me to want to keep coming back and keep getting better. His positive attitude and caring spirit is contagious. Because of Dave and the rest of my teammates I enjoy coming to every class. They inspire me.
I really believe that the world needs Jiu Jitsu now more than ever. Where fear and self-hate can seem to lurk in every doorway, Jiu Jitsu is there to break them down. It stares them in the face and makes them submit. Jiu Jitsu is for every man, every woman and every child.
Now the easiest thing for me to do is walk through that gym door because I know each time I exit it again I will be stronger, stronger physically, stronger mentally, and stronger emotionally.
Thank you Princeton for supporting a new gym. Thank you Vermilion Forks Fitness for brining me Jiu Jitsu. And thank you Dave for continuing to bring me through that door.