In the course of 6 months I was able to drop about 30lbs, improve my fitness level, improve my diet and place in my first Bjj tournament. How did I do it? What were the 7 things I did to get back into shape?
- I put myself on a deadline
- I improved my diet
- I stopped drinking alcohol
- I went to class at least 3 times a week
- I got excited about what I was doing
- I did some extra exercise and stretching at home
- I accepted a little bit of suffering
I’m gonna get into each of these things (including the diet because I know everyone wants the diet) over the course of the next few posts but I think it’s important to see the overall structure of what I did or dealt with. I not going to call it “my plan” because a few of the points were things I did that I hadn’t really planned for. They just fell into place or I accepted them but they turned out to be key elements to my success. Going forward with any other challenges in my life I will try to fall back to these 7 things and try to implement them. The three things that I hadn’t planned on were: I put myself on a deadline, I got excited about what I was doing and I accepted a little suffering. The last one is particular is the most important one and although it’s probably obvious that one is going to suffer a bit when getting back in shape, I think accepting you’re gonna need some mental strength is vital to success. In fact, nothing ever worth doing is ever easy. Let me say that again. Nothing ever worth doing is ever easy. It’s the adversity and struggle that bring value to things. Overcoming challenges is what gives you fulfillment and brings quality to your life.
As far as putting myself on a deadline goes I hadn’t planned on this one one bit. I just did it and it was a huge part of my improvement but I can tell you it did come with a negative effect and I will share it as a cautionary tale at a later date. What I essentially did is I per-registered for a Jiu-Jitsu competition and not just any one. My first Jiu-JItsu tournament was the provincials. I had set the bar pretty high. I was about 3 months into my training and that then and there put me on a 6 week deadline to prepare. Now I was committed to my routine with a goal in set. One thing to note here is that I did not expect to win anything. I excepted I was probably going to lose my first match and figured if I could get past the first round I would consider it a resounding victory. I’m not a defeatist, I just accepted the reality that I was potentially up against guys who had as much as 3 years experience over me at the rank level I was competing. The belt system in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a little different. It has fewer belts than other martial art systems but the time spent at each is longer with the average being about 2-3 years. I was just a lowly white belt at the bottom end of that scale having about 5 months of training under my belt when I competed. However, I do have over 35 years of training in other martial arts and I do have some tricks up my sleeve. Although I have very little grappling experience I do have a decent amount of take-down and throwing ability to draw on. I was hoping it was enough to give me the edge against my opponents. It very likely won me my first match as I was able to sweep my opponent off his feet and go to side control position immediately.
The third unexpected thing was how I go excited about what I was doing. I think that is to be expected to some extent but again I believe it was a key ingredient to achieving my goals and I think there is a lesson to be learned from it. It demonstrated to me how loving what you’re doing goes a long way to insuring success in that endevour. I was (and still am) fascinated and enthralled with the jiu JItsu. I’d be sitting on the couch relaxing with the wife rubbing her legs and I’d have my tablet in the other hand watching jiu-jitsu videos or I’d be reading a book or magazine on said topic. The excitement I had kept me motivated. That’s the trump card. It helps you deal with the suffering and adversity. Doing what you love makes the challenge easier. It gives you drive. Use what you’re passionate about to achieve your goals and you can’t fail. The other 4 things I did don’t need an introduction and I’ll be going over each of these in detail soon enough. In the mean time I hope I’m having an impact and the story I’m sharing is inspiring someone out there to implement the life changing action they want or need.