I recently posted a question on Reddit asking if any musicians did BJJ and asking for some advice. I explained that I knew a professional musician who mentioned an interest in BJJ, but had a Valid Concern about getting injured and not being able to do his job. It was a basic risk vs reward consideration required for making a thoughtful decision.

Among the very good advice were three randomly aggressive comments:

  • Well, there’s no guarantee. You’re going to get injured. But worrying about it and not trying out new shit is the way to go.
  • Don’t be such a puss… Go train.
  • Sounds like a lame excuse.

Add these to two articles I recently read about “Guilt in BJJ” – one from CrawlAtopMeandMeetYourDoom called “Guilty” and one by Katie, called Guilt in BJJ. To me, these are interconnected to the above “STFU and train” mentalities because they are very typical responses I see to Explanations as to why one is not doing jiu jitsu.

EXCUSES ARE LAME

“Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.” ― John WoodenWooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court

The excuses given on the picture below are often mental barriers to preventing yourself from doing something. They’re how we psych ourselves out of doing something. Often these excuses can often be combated by a role model or logic or inspiring Nike video or a fitspiration picture macro. After all, it’s really hard to think of “I’m too old” as anything but an excuse for a 37 year-old when you hear about someone in their 60s doing jiu jitsu.

From Motivationista.com

From Motivationista.com. For the record, I consider “I hate doing XYZ” a VALID Reason NOT to do it.

A note on Fitspiration pics. They’re VERY often taken negatively by the non-exercise crowd. For example, the “What’s-Your-Excuse Mom,” Maria Kang, was called a bully and accused of fat shaming. I personally didn’t find the photo aggressive or feel like she was calling me out. I felt like it was a great response to the “I have no time” Excuse that I sometimes have, more of a “Well, if she can do it with 3 kids, sure, I can do it with no kids.”

I don't have Excuses, I have Reasons!

I don’t have Excuses, I have Reasons!

I look at Excuses as flimsy explanations as to why I can’t do something – reactions or spur-of-the-moment explanations. They’re whiny. (please note – the whining is coming from me because that’s how I give excuses. I’m sure you don’t do this). Read these all in the voice of a really annoying 7-year-old-kid-trying-to-whine-their-way-into-getting-their-way. They’re based on how I’m feeling At That Moment, rather than what my Gameplan is.

  • But it’s cooooold outside.
  • But I’m tiiiiired.
  • I just want to watch Doctor Whooooo!

REASONS ARE REASONABLE

When people counter my excuses, they are essentially talking to Sally, my Inner Voice. She throws a temper tantrum when you point out these excuses. She gets grumpy and arm fold-y. My Reasons, however, are solid. They can’t be easily countered with logic. I personally do jiu jitsu because I choose to do it, and no, I don’t want to do it every single night. Compare these lame Excuses to thoughtful Reasons I have for not doing BJJ at times:

  • I need an evening free from people so I can recharge.
  • I am in a shitty mood and grappling is a Very Bad Idea that will lead to tears.
  • My boyfriend is leaving Korea and I want to spend some time with him.
  • I am injured and need time to recover.

I know that when something is Important to me, I find a way to do it. “Where there’s a will there’s a way” (barring extreme circumstances).

ACTIONS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN WORDS

Maybe it is a moot point – and people don’t really give a crap if you’re giving a Valid Reason or a Flimsy Excuse. I said on my article “So You Want to Start a BJJ Blog“…audiences don’t usually care WHY you’re not writing – they’re there for the content, that’s it.” And while it may not be wholly true, ultimately I know that whatever the WHY, it’s the ACTIONS or lack thereof that matter most.

That’s why I get irritated? annoyed? confused? by the amount of Random Acts of Aggression that exist online. I feel that every explanation for not doing jiu jitsu, whether it be a Valid Concern or Reasonable Reason, is labeled as a Lame Excuse because folks are only looking at actions and saying, “You are not doing BJJ, therefore it is a Lame Excuse.”

Jiu Jiu’s Question: What are YOUR Lame Excuses that you give when you don’t want to do Jiu Jitsu/Exercise/etc? What are your Valid Reasons? How do you differentiate the two? What was your reaction to the “No Excuses Mom” image macro?

NOTE: The comment contest closes in 24 hours! That’s midnight on January 31 in Korea, 10:00am Eastern Standard Time in America. Winner of the comment contest gets a free issue of Groundwork Magazine!