Friday, September 30, 2011

If You're Scared, Then Say Your Scared!

There's an athletic, fit person inside me desperately trying to escape.  Why won't I set her free?  She's screaming to be released.  Maybe I'm afraid.  My husband always says (mostly in jest, but it's still true) "If you're scared, say your scared".  I'm saying it out loud...I'M SCARED!  What happens to me if I change that much.  A large part of who I am is being this short, fluffy, little old lady.  It's my identity.  It's not perfect, but it's mine.  I'm comfortable in my own skin.  I've always loved myself just the way I was.  I'm also scared of the unknown.  Will everyone I love still love me if I change that much?  I know the answer to that, but it's still scary to think about.  The scariest part of much of my diet do I actually have to change and what "extra" activity besides jiu jitsu will I need to incorporate into my already hectic life.  I have a lot of vises...Dr. Pepper, Chocolate, Mexican food, Chocolate, Dr. Pepper (oh, I already said those two, but I really, really love them).  Most of the Spanish I know is from going to the local Taqueria.  I can order all my favorite things on the menu, in Spanish, without skipping a beat.  So, I think I've come to a fork in the road (no pun intended).  I can continue on my path just the way I am...and that is possible, I'm living proof that anyone, any shape or size, or age, can do jiu jitsu...or I can start to make some changes.  Oh dear...I'm really scared now.  At the end of the day I just want to make my jiu jitsu beautiful.  I know that by changing my body it will get me one step closer to my goal.  So what changes are you working on?  What are you afraid of?  

I attended Girls in Gis in Austin on Sunday, September 25th at Trainers Elite MMA.  My daughter went and my friend and her daughter and we had the most amazing time ever (great mother daughter bonding time)!   What I came away with was that while the training together is very, very important, the networking and the sharing of experiences is priceless.  In the grand scheme of things, the BJJ community is small; and the women in the BJJ community are even smaller.  It's definitely very important for us to gather and train and share.  I feel like what we are doing today is shaping the future of little girls everywhere.  I know that one day someone like me will be able to go to a tournament and know that she will have someone else there that is in her weight bracket; that two or three weight brackets won't be combined together and that white belts won't have to compete against blue belts and that there will be all belt levels there competing.  I know that one day, a 44 year old woman just like me, will enter a tournament somewhere and there will be a bracket for her age and her weight and she won't have to worry that she might not get to compete or that she might have to compete against a teenager.  I know that I am playing a tiny, tiny little part in the evolution of women in the sport.  I am a part of the changes that are taking place on mats and gyms all over this country.  That makes all my blood, sweat and tears worth something so much more.  That makes me proud to be a part of the jiu jitsu community.

Even though these past few weeks have been some of the most stressful I've had to endure in a very long time, I'm still standing and I will live to train another day.  My journey may slow down to a snails pace at times and pick up steam at other times.  At the end of it all, we all get to the same place, in our own way at our own pace and in our own time.  Here are some links to some blog posts that got me through this past week.  Thank you Jodi and Ginger and Georgette.  It felt like you were speaking to me this week.  


  1. I know that Jiu-Jitsu has changed me in ways I never even thought possible, and sometimes those changes have been very difficult for me to deal with. I have also felt some of what you mentioned, that I was afraid of losing who I thought I was. The meek, shy, scared, withdrawn Gina may have not been enjoyable to be, but it was what I was comfortable with. To come out of that shell has been one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

    Then one day I realized I wasn't losing who I was, I was becoming the best version of myself. I was just freeing the parts of me I had repressed. It's been a difficult journey, but I would never go back.

    PS. I also ♥ Dr. Pepper and chocolate ;)

  2. It's weird - BJJ has given me a new identity as a jiujitsoka. But it's also made me realize I identify as athletic now. I am trading in my fat girl persona (size 22!) for an athletic woman persona (size 12 and dropping). It's a weird and scary thing - recognizing bad relationships with food, spending more time in the mirror looking at the new shape my body has (oops!), realizing I don't have to shop at specialty stores any more. Shocking. Seriously.

    I hope you enjoy your new self and I hope you enjoy the positivity that comes from that. I know that when I was much bigger - 231 lbs - I had so many people around me who were so "positive" that I felt defensive about wanting to get into shape. I look back on that time and realized I wasn't HAPPY, but I had made myself believe I was happy with myself.

    You will change your relationship with food, but really - for the better.

    Sincerely congratulations on this awesome, momentous life journey. You have supporters out there!