Two Years and Counting

*The Wicked Queen wrote this back in December, however it never seemed appropriate to share this personal celebration with anyone. Recently, I’ve heard visitors saying – “Oh, I can’t do that!”, “I’m too …..” At the same time, I’ve heard members sharing some of their personal accomplishments. Visitors to NKM&BJJ need to know that all of the members were just like them once. So, I decided to bare it all and share with you.


Today is a big celebration day for me. It means nothing to anyone else, just me. Two years ago today I took my first BJJ class. I remember it very clearly, more because I felt totally and completely ridiculous even being in the training room. 

The space in which we were participating was confined. We were slightly chilled due to the weather conditions in the room and yet I was sweating bullets like a full blown hot flash doing a “warm up”. Regardless, I thought for certain I had made a terrible error being there.

I was in a class with several “experienced” Krav Maga students and me. Old. Overweight. Housewife. Mother. Former athlete. And here I am in a class full of “ass kickers and name takers” – at least that was my perception.

I had known the individual teaching in a different light, but I had no idea what he would be like as a Jiu Jitsu instructor. He certainly knew my deconditioned body and stubborn attitude. “This might be fun!” I laughed in my head, as I also trembled.

After completing the death-defying warm ups, we started learning techniques. I was partnered with someone else in the class who made it very apparent that they were not thrilled with working with a non-Krav, non-fit, not typical person. Or at least I felt that – heavily.

My insecurities gained great momentum when the techniques that were introduced involved “touching” and “being right up in someone’s business”. I mean, right there! I hadn’t been that close to another person since an ACDC concert in 1990 – and I’m pretty sure it was still more fun. (Yes, let’s remark on my age again.) I mean seriously, right up in their business.

Oh, and in addition to the close proximity, we were to climb on top of each others back. This was my worst nightmare coming true. I would load my insecure “fat-ass” (IMHO) on top of this poor other person. I felt bad enough, but when my partner remarked about my size I mentally shrank to the size of a piece of doggie doo.

Furthermore, I was not prepared for the odiferous and damp environment that would take place that day. I’ve played other sports and all. I didn’t mind “glistening”, but good Lord, other people should not rain sweat upon me or into any of my open orifices. All of my senses were fully assaulted.

Every second, of every minute, of that class I fought the urge to walk out – probably run out. But damn it, I’m not a quitter – usually.

I realized I was not doing anything physically too demanding, just really, really uncomfortable. I was also dealing with the enormity of my insecurities. And they were hitting me like a rather large brick – right between the eyes.

I left the first class and was certain I would NEVER go back. This was definitely NOT for me. However, I went back the very next day. And the day after that. And the day after that.

I’m not sure why I kept going back – honestly. Maybe my stubbornness was kicking in. Maybe I had to show the instructor I could do this. Maybe I needed these Krav “ass-kickers” to see me as a peer. Maybe I felt like I needed to give it more time before making a decision – give it a fair shake. Maybe I was crazy. I really don’t know. But I kept going back, with all my insecurities dragging behind me.

Ultimately, I had to purchase my first Gi (the funny pajama thing we wear). When I put it on, I thought, “This is it. There is no way in hell I am wearing this Stay Puff Marshmallow Man outfit.” Seriously. Nothing cute about it. Insecurities continued to run amuck.

Needless to say, two years later and here I am still taking classes. My outlook about Jiu Jitsu is completely different. My conditioning has improved greatly as the once dreaded warm ups are now a welcome way to prepare for class.

I no longer look at others in the class and think they are the only “ass kickers”, instead I add my name to the list too.

I no longer think I’m too big, too small, too wide, too old, etc. to participate in Jiu Jitsu. I see it as something I wish I would have started long ago and hope to continue to do until I can’t move anymore.

Though the Gi’s are still not the most flattering thing to my female figure, I view my Gi as my power tool. It’s my super hero costume. My suit of armour. I feel like an entirely different person when I put it on – I’m empowered. I am The Wicked Queen, not a wife, a mother, a business owner, etc. I am purely me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still carry some of my insecurities with me, but every day that I train, I drop a little more of those off my load.

The person I was two years ago is a far cry from the woman I am today. I am mentally stronger, physically stronger, and emotionally more secure – most days. I look forward to continuing in this journey.

So today I celebrate two years in the development of me. I can’t even begin to imagine where I will be in two more years or five years or ten years. I am so grateful for each of the moments I have endured – the good and the bad – even the very, very bad. Jiu Jitsu has changed me and I am so thankful.

So walk in the door, drag your insecurities with you, and start. You will find much more than you could  have ever imagined – a real you, a new you, and a gym family to share it with!

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