I’m a firm believer that important life changes cannot occur until you are absolutely ready for them to happen.  Even more importantly, these changes will not manifest until you take action. One of my best personal examples of this would be the day I decided to start training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Flashback to September of 2015:  I was the ultimate homebody; chalk it up to being antisocial or just plain lazy, either of those would technically be correct.  I had zero drive to do anything and as a result my relationships with the people around me were suffering. My self esteem was at a record low and my weight had reached its peak of a whopping one hundred and seventy-five pounds.  I was fat, lonely, and quickly sinking into depression. I had to do something extreme, fast.

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This is the picture that motivated me to get in shape.  I didn’t like what I saw and I made the decision to be healthier.

On one not particularly special morning, I did my normal routine of skimming Facebook posts.  Through mindless browsing, I stumbled upon an add for Gladiator’s Academy of Breaux Bridge, a martial arts training center just ten minutes from where I lived.  I clicked the link and noticed that two of my friends were tagged in some of the student photos. I guess the locality, the fact that I would know someone there, and my declining self-image was the perfect storm of what drove me to call the gym and request a trial period.  With a shaking voice, I made a decision that would alter my life forever.

Until then, I had no athletic ability to speak of.  I was never in sports, and any fitness-related activities (such as dancing and cheerleading) ended very abruptly as I was never cut out for it.  This phone call to a martial arts academy was radically out of character for me. I didn’t even know what Brazilian Jiu jitsu was! I just assumed, as most do, that it was “UFC” (MMA, or mixed martial arts, was not yet in my vocabulary).  But still, I had to do something. I made the call. I scheduled the first class. I fearfully stepped through the door.

If I would have continued to remain withdrawn and stagnant in my current situation, I would have never discovered all the wonderful people I would soon come to know as family, or the amazing capabilities that laid dormant within myself.  Admittedly, I was very intimidated during my first class. I was the only woman there, everyone already had a good working knowledge of the moves, and the very first person to introduce themselves to me had a teardrop tattoo on their face (He would quickly become one of my best friends and training partners.  Life lesson learned: Don’t be so quick to judge.). Everything inside of me kept saying quit, but I wanted better for myself so I mustered up all the courage I had and signed up for a full membership. The rest is history.

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My first Jiu Jitsu class at Gladiators Academy of Breaux Bridge.  September 14, 2015.

Great things happen when you step out of your comfort zone.  Flashforward to now in 2018: I’m more confident in myself than ever before.  I’m one hundred and thirty-five pounds, a blue belt, an instructor, a teammate, a competitor; someone I can face in the mirror and no longer shy away from.  I’ve learned how to defend myself, I’ve instilled values in our youngest of practitioners, I know the importance of choosing your tribe and inner circle, and I’ve completely molded myself into someone I didn’t think I was capable of becoming.  

If there is one thing that can be taken away from this article, let it be this: I hope you always choose to dive headfirst into what makes you afraid.  If you truly want to change and live the life you’ve always wanted, take action! Try something radical.

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One big happy family!

 

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