Sometimes, it’s nice to be reminded about the beginning of the journey. I am always excited when I meet someone so new to the sport that they are just glowing with excitement and anticipation. They look at you with eyes shining. They can’t wait to roll with you and test themselves and learn from you. I am not the most athletic chick on the mat. Not the most coordinated. Not the most fit. Not the one people ask for help. But last weekend I got to train with some really cool newbies at Girls in Gis. It was a privilege to train with them. To show them what little knowledge I have about jiu jitsu. They reminded me of a time not too long ago when my belt was fresh and white and clean. They reminded me of a time when my white belt had an empty black bar and was devoid of dirt and blood and sweat and tears. I left that event with a full heart, smiling, happy, knowing that I had helped someone. It may not seem like much, but it was just what I needed. Sometimes you need to be reminded about the beginning to see how far you’ve come. The journey, it’s so personal and unique for each person. It will always be an honor when I can be a part of the beginning.
As I tried to find the right words for this post, I remembered something I had read. It was from Mark Johnson’s book “Jiu-Jitsu on the Brain”. I just felt it was worth sharing. Even though my belt is now blue and it is getting worn and frayed, I still love to remember the beginning, because without the beginning there would be no journey at all.
“The black bar on your belt represents the beginning; it’s blank, like your experience in jiu-jitsu. You will be introduced to a new world, one filled with red-belted masters and wonderful techniques and weird uniforms and dealing with your own ego and frustration and knowledge and exhaustion and bliss. It all begins with a search, a search for fulfillment or exercise or confidence. The search has brought you to jiu-jitsu and this is where you begin.”