After weeks of consistent training, I’m only now becoming capable. I’m progressing. When someone is choking the air from your body and tightening their grip around your neck– you panic. You move quickly, only to fall deeper into their choke. Progressing means that I’ve begun to learn to not panic.  It means that I’ve taken control for my response, but I need to control every time someone applies a choke, armbar, an ankle lock.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is hard.

I’m excited to have this problem. Maintaining control and poise when your neck might get cracked is not something that can be easily conquered, but it is something challenging enough to make me want to work hard at. There’s a lot of room for growth.

I need to grow my lens.

I’m still looking at Jiu Jitsu and Martial Arts like a spectator, not yet like a fighter. A spectator comes in and trains a few times a week. Maybe one class a day. A fighter leaves the gym to work, sleep and eat. You’ll find a fighter taking at least two classes a day and doing physical training alongside that. A fighter follows a what I would call a diet normally–but doesn’t even think about how hard that diet is because that’s their lifestyle. For them diet means cutting weight. Diet means no carbs, starches or sweets. It means Chicken breast and broccoli. The lens matters. I like Jiu Jitsu. I like working on things that matter. I do more when I feel connected to my work. When I’m on the mat, BJJ is my work.

Ripple effects

When I spend my time focused on solving a problem that’s hard, I start to get more productive. This week alone I’m getting things done for Capco, MIG, Startup Institute and the Global Shapers.

A love of work.

When I was in Rome I did it a lot. My roommate used to tell people that I get things done because I never sleep. It was true back then. I’m working to change that, but I remember being in Rome loving life, those that surrounded me, the town, the atmosphere and the work-building BridgeSport and studying things that fascinated me.

I was making goals and knocking them out.

I’m starting to come back into that stride. I’m sure things will throw me off, I’m sure I’ll fail. I fail in Jiu Jitsu multiple times in an hour. I hope that what I’ve learned is what I spoke about at TEDx–how to deal with failure. I was having a tough day recently and I revisited it to remind myself of the prescription for uncertainty.

  • Flexibility
  • Serendipity
  • Travel
  • Relationships

I think doing what you love and what feels right is paving the way for serendipity. Jiu Jitsu feels right.

Knocking out my goals feels right.

One of my big goals for this year is mental. Learning how to learn. There’s an old Air Force line that sounds right: It’s not about how you got into it, it’s about how you get out. So much of life seems to be how you figure out solutions. Problems will come. That’s certain. What I want to be known for is

  1. How I stoically I deal with problems.
  2. How immediately I turn and support those around me when problems arise.
  3. My effectiveness and creativity for solving problems.

Jiu-Jitsu is a hard problem to have. Changing my mindset is a hard problem to deal with, but getting out of one choke a time and finding ways to keep my calm and get through, that’s the goal. Every time time I do it, I get a little better. And every time I fail, I get a little better too.





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