I just put my last training session in the UK (definitely for the foreseeable future and possibly for a lot longer) behind me. Gi, working full guard. Not my favourite place to play but sometimes you’ve got to pay attention to your weak points so they don’t become glaring holes.
This last session signals the end of a five plus year stint training Jiu Jitsu along the South Coast of the UK. From first being introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Thailand (of all places) on a previous trip, I started training in my new home of Bournemouth a few years after. Since then it’s become a cornerstone of my training, and my life in a way that I didn’t see coming. A lot of other hobbies and interests fell by the wayside in order to get more time the mats.
The last session also signals the start of something new. A trip, starting in South Africa and with no fixed end point.
Starting something new, breaking a routine and just generally throwing out your old way of life can be really difficult. Often not for the reasons you expect. I dreamed about a life filled with sun, surf and jiu jitsu in exotic places while behind my desk in the middle of the UK’s winter. Especially on those grey days where it seems to rain for a constant week. Now during my last training session during one of those grey days, I find myself focusing on everything i’m going to miss. You make a lot of great friends training Jiu Jitsu, maybe it’s the common interest factor. Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s impossible not to get to know someone when you’re both trying to choke each other a couple of times a week.
Either way between the comfort of a routine, and all the good bits about the training, the people, the work, the summers (I can live without the winters) of the life I have here are at the front of my mind and the road ahead looks scary, unknown and uncomfortable. I remind myself though, but this is exactly why you must go.
It’s easy to show up and do something you don’t care about, there’s no resistance, no fear. Doing something you love? That’s tough. When far off, it feels like you all you want to do, when it’s hours away, you’ll talk yourself out of it and question everything. That always seems to be trick of the mind for anything worth doing, and nothing is more worth doing than completely stepping out of your old routine, your comforts, your friends, your training partners in search of some adventure.
So i’ve packed the essentials. A laptop so I can continue to design and build websites from the road. Throw a Gi on top of the bag and i’m ready. Just twenty or so hours of travel away from a new continent, new weather and new days.