I recently joined a local Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school that happens to be run by one of the sport’s legendary characters. I was lucky to have moved within walking distance three months ago. Having been useless at exercising regularly since… I think 2010, learning BJJ was something I instantly knew I needed in my life and it became a personal goal of mine to someday win a BJJ competition. It’s been tough to get myself to the school on account of the ass-kicking I receive, but I try to remember that it gets a little bit better each time and that’s all you can really ask for.

Anyway so after class today, the big boss Carlson Junior stops a few of us on our way off the mat and I received from him the white band you see on the belt above. In BJJ it’s kinda like getting promoted from Private to Private First Class in the army. It’s such a small, silly thing but honestly felt great. Here’s a tangible, almost visceral metric for success. Here’s progress in the flesh, which required blood and sweat (thankfully no tears yet).

Not going to deny it made me feel like a kid again, but maybe there’s something there. Maybe the desire for that feeling of accomplishment is core to our beings and ought to be felt more often. There’s power in doing things you’re afraid of, then having proof that you’re doing them well. I have a feeling Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is going to be in my life for a very long time.

photo credit: myself

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