Part 4 of 21 improvements BJJ has had on my life. This was inspired by Tangled Triangle: 21 Days of Improvement. You can read my Part 3 here!

4/21 Improvements from BJJ: New Social Circle

Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family.  —Joseph Brodsky

Before I started BJJ, I had a negative view of athletes in general. This was largely in response to having been a nerd in school – athletes were the ones who mocked my people. And as a fat woman, I was wary and cautious around men with very good looking bodies – if they hit on me or asked me out, I would assume an ulterior motive – like a Dogfight situation or something.


Going into BJJ, I had a deep mistrust of the men who were my teammates. I rarely socialized with athletes outside of college, when I was on the same floor as some women in sports – but even they felt like a mystery to me. I mean really – they enjoyed sweating? No thank you! People who went to the gym were strange and bizarre creatures. What on earth could I have in common with them?

And here I sit today, surrounded by these wonderful athletes. I find inspiration in them. It took less than 2 weeks of BJJ for those internal stereotypes to crumble, and for my guard to be down completely. I enjoy talking about MMA and BJJ, I love training, and I’ve even cancelled plans because I needed to go to BJJ. I share pictures of gis rather than pictures of costumes. WHO AM I?

Jiu Jiu’s Question: How has BJJ affected your friendship circles or your older friendships in a positive way?