This post from earlier this month, and the positive feedback it received, was the impetus for starting this new project.
Thank you all for joining me.
If nothing else, I’m good at starting over.
When my cancer came back in 2014, I had sadness for all the cool stuff I was going to miss out on. I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to walk again, much less return to Jiu Jitsu. I was having trouble walking from nerve damage related to a failed clinical trial, I was shitting myself in the bone marrow transplant ward at Emory from the chemotherapy, and I had the strength and immune system of a baby. None of these is conducive to effective grappling. My dreams of getting back on the mat were dead.
Three months after my transplant in 2015, with apprehension and embarrassment for how badly I’d do, I joined American Top Team Gwinnett, starting completely over at white belt (from being at the cusp of blue when I had to leave the first time in 2012).
Months and months (and years) of frustration at my body’s new limitations. No energy, poor kinesthetic ability, no recovery, no strength, no mobility, and dulled skills. It was a(nother) complete restart. But I showed up. And I suffered. And I lost. I quit Jiu Jitsu every day after class three times a week for 3 years.
But I was winning. The universe saw fit to give me yet another chance. So I didn’t waste it.
Thanks to an understanding family, an understanding gym, tough training partners, and the fortune of the universe, I was awarded my purple belt by Douglas Lima (also my first coach in 2011) on 8/3/2019.
If something is important to you, show up. Then keep showing up. Until you can’t show up.