Home > Brazilian jiu jitsu, Judo, Life > This is me.

This is me.

It first happened after breakfast. Then several hours later, it happened again. The gagging. The nausea. My insides felt like they were wrapped in barbed wire and I felt hands on my neck from behind, choking me. I wanted to cry. But at this point, I was waiting for the bus to go to jiu jitsu. This is what I wanted to do. I was away from judo and jiu jitsu for four days while I visited my best friend. Away in the mountains with my childhood friend and her family, I was softly wrapped in hope and contentment. I was excited to get back to my world on the mat. However, I felt scared to go back to rest of my life. My job is in the midst of a big transition. I have decisions to make and I don’t know what path I’m supposed to take. The uncertainty is starting to get to me. During this inopportune moment while I waited for the bus, my anxiety began to corrode my spirit from stomach to throat. As I tried to slow my breathing and blink away the tears, the bus came. I got on and twenty minutes I was at my club. I all but ran into the women’s changing room so I could close the door behind me and hide before class.

After I got into my gi and stepped onto the mat, I still felt shaky. I tried to keep my face blank, but my mind was disjointed. I felt like my skin was on fire. We started our warm-up jog. I breathed. We started to drill. I breathed. I felt calm. Then I felt curious. Soon enough, I was laughing. When we rolled at the end of class, I felt light and free. I was ecstatic as fireworks. As I walked back to the women’s changing room at the end of class, I wanted to cry again, but this time is was from relief and joy.

Tonight was another time where judo and jiu jitsu saved me. When I am on the mat, I am most myself and all parts of myself. I’m the student and the teacher. I am a fighter and a mediator. I am the victor and the defeated. I’m a teammate. I’m a friend. I’m a clown. I am one girl diving head first into my fears just to see if I can make it back to the surface for air.

I am not a great athlete. The world will not remember my name for judo and jiu jitsu. But I don’t care about that. At this point,  I can’t separate what I learn from judo and jiu jitsu and the rest of my life. I cherish what these practices have given me, and with time and experience, I hope I can give back to judo and jiu jitsu all they have given to  me.

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