November 11, 2010

A word about discomfort.

I was rolling with Mario yesterday, who is one of my oldest BJJ buddies.  He and I started training at the same time 5 1/2 (5 1/2!) years ago.  We were working on half guard escapes to achieve side control and at one point, I was trying to adjust my weight back and forth to drive my shoulder into his neck and cause my friend misery....:)  Mario laughed and said, "Yeah, you got it, that makes me very uncomfortable."  The rest of class we kept joking about moments of discomfort.  ("Yeah dude, that arm lock is making me uncomfortable.")

Discomfort.  The gift of life.  May we all embrace discomfort and celebrate the ways it brings verve and spirit to our life.  Discomfort is the parent of improvement, excellence, triumph, wisdom, and confidence.

When I started BJJ, I was unsure about my fighting abilities, my confidence level was a lukewarm medium, not rock solid.  Fighting ability was/is important for my job, as I work in LE.  I spent the first two-three months in a constant state of pain.  Odd muscle soreness became a normal part of my life.  Epsom salt baths were a temporary respite from the aches,  which returned immediately after the next class.  The next class.  I kept going back.  The next class.  And the next.


Soon the pain subsided.  The epsom salt baths became less frequent.  I got into a fight a work, which I dominated without effort and panic.  I developed weird strength.  I carried myself differently.  I started to glow.  My new found confidence flooded into the corners of my being.  I was not walking around looking like a mean gorilla, quite the opposite.  I developed a gracefulness that comes from relaxed, yet sharp confidence.  I knew, I knew, (and continue to know), that I could take care of business.

How many great moments have you achieved without discomfort?  College?  Childbirth?  Getting the dream job?  All great accomplishments require a certain amount of pain.

The suffering, the discomfort, are the portals of success.  Discomfort is the electricity that carries our blood.  Embrace the misery.  She will reward you with a grand life.


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