It is becoming increasingly harder for me to write these essays. I know that I have worked through a lot of issues, both mental and physical to get to where I am today. I was in a class Monday night, and the professor reminded us to think back to our first class. That thought brought back so much emotion for me. When I thought of that first night in June, 2012, I get emotional. I can’t believe how much I have changed. My body has changed of course, I try to train regularly. My mindset has changed more though.
I stepped onto the mat on that night so long ago to try to lose weight. Yes, I admit, if I made my goal weight I’d probably stop. I did not see myself committing to blue/white belt, much less black belt. I figured six months and I’d hit my goal for weight loss, and I’d be gone. That first night I was overly confident that it was no big deal, I could handle it. How little I knew about myself! I have learned that, yes, I can handle it, but it was more than a big deal. I actually felt worse with myself during that first class. I realized how much I had let my body go physically. I was ashamed. However, because I saw that, I realize now, I saw the fact that I could change. I had the power to make the change, to be my change. My physical body has changed a great deal in the 17 months that I have committed to my training, 11 months past my six month mindset then!
My mental state has been both awakened and calmed at the same time. I handle stress much better, and that makes teaching easier. However, the realization that I, along with my great instructors, am responsible for MY changes has empowered me. I have confidence that I have never felt before. I feel in total control of myself. I have learned to do something people had pointed out that I wasn’t doing before. I have learned to accept and simply say thank you for a sincere compliment. I have been complimented by my professors, instructors, senior classmates, and lower belt classmates. I am proud of each compliment now. I also see that I am a teacher in more ways than one. It is just as gratifying to receive a compliment from a new student as it is to hear one from a parent of a student. I am a calmer person because of the ability to process stress differently, and a happier person, and I want to thank Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for helping me to change me. I am now 100% committed to train as long as my body will let me.