Due to two paper deadlines (one conference, one magazine) last Friday and presentation in Maryland today, I had to make the responsible decision and not go to training for 5 days straight. Instead, I drilled at home for about an hour every day when I grew too sick of working. Believe me, this one of the hardest jiu jitsu activities I ever do. Drilling at home has none of the fun of jiu jitsu and more excuses to not do it than I ever thought possible. In fact, one of the benefits I get from it is practicing shutting down the excuse-generating lobe of my brain.
The rare act of taking time off from training made me look at my relationship with jiu jitsu from another perspective. One of the things it made me realize is that the world does not end if I don’t come to train. People don’t notice. Whether I train 7 days a week or 3 days a week, my friends and family will not mind, in fact they probably will not notice or care.
All the goals I set and work hard towards aren’t there so that I could tell others, not my girlfriend, not my parents, not my best friend. They are there for me. For the quiet moments when I walk home and think about the days behind me and the days ahead.
I needed to step away to see that what I get from training is the simple quiet joy that I used to get from spending hours on building lego castles as a kid. I remember my shoulders and back getting tired from sitting in the same position and obsessively connecting the lego pieces together. I probably didn’t love every moment of it, but if there is
such a thing as happiness, I think found it in those lego pieces.