Happy three year BJJ anniversary to me! Looks like a good time to reflect on my progress.

In the beginning, EVERYTHING was hard. Everything was a struggle, and nothing was or came easily. Shrimping was difficult, forward rolls were impossible, and escaping – fuggedaboutit. And yet I struggled through without grumbling, complaining – it was head on into the fray, my friends!

Fast forward to three years later. We’re practicing the berimbolo in class – an advanced move – and I find myself internally grumbling. Complaining within myself. Internal eye rolling. GAH – NOT THIS AGAIN! Blech I hate the berimbolo!

Just say NO to berimbolo!

Then I stopped and asked myself “Why do I hate this?” There are moves I dislike because they hurt or because my legs just flat out don’t stretch far, and I’ve screamed because my partner pushed my knee down too far. For me, that’s a legitimate reason to dislike something. Unfortunately, the reason I disliked the berimbolo was that I was not good at it. I felt stupid when I did it because I couldn’t do it right. I felt like a newbie. Disliking it because I’m bad at it – that’s ego, and it’s really not cool.

What a change that is from three years ago, and not a good one, in my opinion. Why is it I shrink from a challenge rather than run toward it now? I tell my students that if they make mistakes during my English class, that they should embrace those and use it as study points – they’ve identified areas of weaknesses and now can strengthen them. Unfortunately, like my students, I’ve gotten comfortable at the things I’m better at and want to do those things rather than do things I am terrible at.

How about you – when you are presented with a move you are not good at or realize you absolutely suck at, how do you internally deal with it? Do you face it head on? Do you avoid it? Do you grumble at it? Do you drill it? Am I the only one guilty of hiding behind my ego?