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Who Needs the Fountain of Youth When You Have BJJ
You're never too old to start again.
Being a 56 year old woman and writing about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is something I never envisioned myself doing when I was younger. Yet here I am doing that exact thing. I’ve always been interested in UFC fights. The part of the fight that always put me on the edge of my seat was the ground game. I was always amazed at the strategic maneuvers of the players. How could the guy or the girl in the worst possible situation escape and end up winning the match?? How did they do that??
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It was interesting to me. Very Interesting. However I just left my curiosity on the TV and just thought those athletes are amazing and I went on with my life. It wasn’t until my son who always considered me to be his “wrestling buddy” invited me to a self defense seminar with him that I got my first taste of Jiu Jitsu. I was pretty excited to go but never imagined the direction it would take me. I got on the mat, learned a technique and accomplished it within minutes. I was amazed and thought wow...that felt great and I wanted to do it again.
So at 54 I walked into a BJJ gym for the first time and spoke with the owner and was not leaving there until he had my paperwork completed. It’s funny how your life goes in a direction you never saw it going. If you think you can’t...you can. If you feel too old, you’re not. Too overweight, nope! I felt all of those self defeating emotions myself. I’d see posts about Jiu Jitsu being for everyone and hashtags like #bjjgirl, but me? No...couldn’t be. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
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I felt a bit intimated at first being what seemed the oldest woman at the gym for sure. I wondered if the already established members of the gym, most of whom were half my age if not younger were thinking, What is she doing here? Again, I couldn’t be more wrong. They welcomed me and immediately made me feel comfortable. They had patience and understanding of my newness and I soon started feeling more and more at ease with each class I took. I was always amazed at the technique being taught and when it was time to partner up and try it out that 1,2,3 clap was music to my ears!
I couldn’t wait to get into position with my partner to drill the move I was just shown. There were many times I’d think that doesn’t look so tough and then once in position I didn’t even know where to begin. I had thoughts of, Well maybe I don’t belong here. Maybe I was too old for this...umm...again, no. I soon found that was a pretty common thing to go through during class. It was a great feeling becoming a part of something that was so much fun and so good for me physically. I never really cared for the boring routine of a treadmill or elliptical. This was totally different.
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This was a full body workout with friends who became family and the addition of laughter truly was the best medicine for any stress related situation life dealt me. I couldn’t wait to get to the gym and I look forward to it at least 4 days a week! I am proud to say I am currently a 56 soon to be 57 year old #bjjgirl with a Blue Belt and a goal. That goal is to Keep showing up and Never Give Up! BJJ truly is for everyone. Yes that means you too!