Today I went to the weekly boxing class at TBJJ. I am writing this immediately after class because I want to put down how I feel before I get rested and have a different point of view. When I get rested, I will appreciate today but I realize that if YOU were to join the class, having never trained before, you might very well feel like I feel right now and quit.
So let's address the elephant in the room shall we? Right now I am very tired, my back hurts, my left big toe is out of joint, my neck (having two buldging disks in it) is throbbing, and I now have a new pain in just above my left elbow in the muscle on the back of my arm. Mix in the frustration of my not being able to put a single combination together after 4+ months and you might be able to understand why I might have a bad attitude right now. And yes, I have thought of just dropping the class on more than one occasion, usually on Tuesdays around 12:00 pm. Nervous yet? Thinking of staying away from this class? Are you in a class and considering dropping out? Every felt this way at all? (You are not alone if you said "yes" and if you are smart, you will squash those thoughts right now.)
To top it off, I could see the frustration in Doc's eyes when I didn't get the punches correct, because he and Chris have only tried to teach me these for 4+ months now and I still haven't gotten it right. Talk about embarrassing and having feelings of inadequacy! (Oh, poor me... ever feel that way?)
WHY ON EARTH would I be telling you all this negative stuff if I want you to ever take part in this sport or join TBJJ. Here is why: it is part of it. It is part of the growth process. It hurts, heck yeah, but it never hurts past what you can bear. Doc and Chris make sure of that. And the thoughts of embarrassment and feeling like the trainers are frustrated with me?..... All in my head, I know that. When I reflect back on the day after I recover somewhat, I always come back to one thought: "I did it." I didn't quit today. I stayed in there even though I wanted to crawl back home and get into the fetal position and suck my thumb. 4 months ago I couldn't jump rope for 10 seconds straight. Now I can at least move around for 3 minutes and not pass out! That is a BIG DEAL to me.
Jeff Chambers stayed after class and taught Tony Palmer and myself how to do a few things and Clay Short was kind enough to talk to me on the side about what to do when I pass guard. These two guys are the reason I keep going back. Not just them, but you see... this is the class of guys and gals that are associated with this gym. Never, not once, have I needed instruction or advice or encouragement that there wasn't two or three guys right there just waiting to pick me back up. Doc and Chris are always at the front of the line. I have simply never seen such dedication to the success of "others" like I do here. It is a lifestyle to these people and ego takes a back seat to the success of the guy that needs help.
So after Tony Palmer kicked me in the temple (yeah Tony, it hurt), I was happy to sit right there and continue to learn. We laugh, we run, we joke around, we have fun. Is it work? Yes. Is it worth it? HECK YEAH! So let me say thanks to those people at TBJJ that have been so kind to take a minute or two with me each week. The list is getting long but I will continue to appreciate all of you. If it weren't for you, I would have left a long time ago because TBJJ would be just another gym. Fact is, TBJJ isn't just another gym. Its a family.