Yesterday in jujitsu, a new younger student asked me a question in regard to training: What would be your top piece of advice?
First, I inwardly marveled at the fact that any of the students look to me for that type of leadership. Can you tell that I’m still adjusting to being a sensei in our dojo? Who am I that she’s seeking out my advice?
But why not? I’ve worked hard to earn my title, and though I still have a lot to learn on the blue mat, I have enough experience in the dojo to have an answer.
My Top Piece of Advice
“Keep showing up for class. Just don’t quit training. There’s going to be a period in the near future when things are going to suck for a while. You’re about to learn the rest of the throwing list, and you haven’t had time to master your fall. It’s going to be uncomfortable and physically hard while you teach your body how to do things that most people are too scared to try.
You will be frustrated. You’ll feel like you don’t even walk correctly. If you’re anything like I was, there will be evenings when you’ll go home in tears.
These are the times when you won’t want to show up for class. This is when you’ll have to show up anyway and push through the hard stuff. The technique will come with time, but you have to keep training through the challenges to get there.”
Tenacity For the Win
I started training jujitsu almost seven years ago. When I started getting ready for my black belt exam in 2015, more than one of the other instructors told me that they would not have predicted that I would have stayed with the training, based on how frustrated and defensive I was about critique in the beginning.
I’m super proud of passing my black belt exam, but the truth is, those instructors just didn’t know me that well. One of my core values is tenacity.
Tenacity – a mindset of persistence and fierce determination toward a goal in spite of pushback or challenges.
Every accomplishment that I’m truly proud of in life involved deciding that something was too important to quit:
- I found myself on my own just before my junior of high school; I still graduated in the top five percent of my high school class.
- I put myself through college on a full scholarship and worked two jobs the last two years because I was supporting myself completely. And I graduated on time.
- My husband and I couldn’t have been more different when we started dating. Our eighth wedding anniversary is next week, and next month, our relationship surpasses 13 years in being together.
- I started working at my company as the office admin at age 25. The year I turned 30, I purchased it from the owner. Next year, it will be completely paid off.
Keep Showing Up
I believe that we really can accomplish the things we want in life, but we have to decide that what we’re working on is JUST TOO IMPORTANT to quit.
Keep showing up. Keep working. Keep pushing toward your dreams.
Even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, even when there are tears of frustration.
Just don’t quit.