To each his own journey
I had a friend who posted on Facebook about to each his own Journey. I thought many of his suggestions were spot on. I thought I would share some of them here and add a few of mine. As I am going from memory and not pasting what he wrote so will be using some liberties with what I write.
First of all let me say that we are older guys and we train BJJ. We train it because we want to. We train it because we enjoy it. We train it because it takes us away from some of our outside issues and we get a chance to get away if even for just a short time. We also enjoy the camaraderie we have with our younger BJJ enthusiasts.
There are other influences that make it not as fun. Outside pressure to compete or to compare ourselves with others. Pressure to get a Belt Promotion or to be compared to someone who started later then us or so many other things. These are things that can consume us bring extra stress and anxiety to what normally would be a serene peaceful endeavor and makes us not enjoy it like we normally would.
Why do we do these things? Why is it so important to keep up with the Jones? I know a Black Belt. He is one of the best BJJ players I know. He is big (210) strong could do cross fit with the best and also so flexible you would think he was a Gymnast. He is in his 30's and I have seen him destroy people who compete regularly and win. I asked him won day why he does not compete at all. He said he used to but the anxiety it caused was just too much. He would have to drink the night before he competed to calm down and the things he was doing were not good for his body. Same thing for a over 50 year old Purple Belt I know. He has all the assets to be a World Champion but he does not want to compete. He said that when he competes he becomes a different person. His Girl Friend would basically have to move out of the house for the month before the competition because he was just that hard to live with. It was not worth it to him. He just preferred to work out and spar with the guys and continue to improve his game like that.
I used to think that you had to compete to improve but I am starting to see that we all have a different BJJ Journey. It is a hard journey and we have chosen a hard sport to master. No need by making it more difficult by bringing in things we cannot control and things that cause it to be no fun into the mix.