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If life were easy, it wouldn’t be hard – Musings of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu White Belt

Last week I talked to you about being the kind of person that you want to be.  I said,

Don’t hide from who you are.  And if you are not the woman you want to be, model the woman you do want to be in all areas of your life.  If you want to be a strong woman, do strong things.  If you want to be brave, do brave things.  If you want to be righteous, do righteous things.

I want to be a lot of things, but right now I feel the need to focus on being strong.  So I’m spending a lot of time doing strong things.  Strong things like sharing my vulnerable pictures from last week or my failures in the watch business.  Another strong thing that I am doing is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training.

You’re thinking, “Whaaaaa??”

Yup.  I’m a legit, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu white belt, with a couple gi’s and everything.  I recently photographed a woman who is a blue belt at my local gym.  She inspired me.

The beautiful Casey. One of these days I’m going to take my own portrait in my Gi (when the nice one finally shows up).

I’ve been training for a couple weeks and let me tell you a secret.  BJJ is no joke.  And there are not a lot of women there.  I have been sore in places I didn’t even know I had and I have new bruises all over my arms after every lesson.  Yesterday I had my first plain clothes training practice and it was even harder.  Without the gi to grip and protect me, my biceps are incredibly sore and I have a welt on my leg the size of a silver dollar.

And you know what?  It’s pretty awesome.  I love my bruises!  I love my sore arms and obliques.  I love the sweat that drips down my face and I even love having to tap out after grappling with a very superior opponent after less than ten seconds.  I even love my sore ankle after being caught in an ankle lock more than once.

Why do I love it?  Because life is legit hard!  Some days it’s all I can do to get out of bed and face the day.  Sometimes I can’t get through without crying or hiding in the closet with my ice cream.  But life isn’t supposed to be easy.  If it were easy I couldn’t grow, learn, or become better.  If life were easy, I couldn’t feel the satisfaction of overcoming a weakness or getting incrementally stronger.

So even if it’s only a physical manifestation of what I want to feel mentally and emotionally, BJJ helps me feel strong.  I’m the weakest person there.  I have -0 technique and I’m the whitest of the white belts.  In fact, half the time I have to grapple with men with 50 or so pounds on me.  But, as most of them have said, “you’re a lot tougher than you look.”

Yes, I am.  I am tough.  I am strong.  Because I’m doing strong things.

This week for my business class I had to write a personal constitution.  During the process I had to write a list of attributes that I wanted to embody, using “I am…” statements and expound on them.  Regarding strength I wrote:

I believe life is hard and is filled with uncertainty and pain.  I will face those challenges and pain without fear and try to learn and grow from the experiences I have.  I am courageous and strong.

I among other things, also want to be gentle, cheerful, passionate, smart, beautiful, faithful, and disciplined.  And I’m going to constantly try and be that person.  I’m not going to “fake it till you make it”.  But act in order to become.

So I’d like to challenge you to think about the kind of person you want to be and start doing those kinds of things that that person would do.

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