Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What has Jiu Jitsu done for you?

I have been receiving some excellent feedback from some of my coworkers on my blog. Just the other day, one stopped me and asked me about Jiu Jitsu and he asked me a very thought provoking question, "What has Jiu Jitsu done for me?" Wow! I was honestly floored by that question. I covered some information in a earlier post: Story behind the belt and the blog, but I wanted to revisit and add some more detail, and share a little more into my journey of becoming a healthier person.

There is so much that I am thankful in life. At one time, I was in a pretty dark place in my life. I was severely depressed, my health was failing, I was disconnected from friends and family and on top of everything my marriage was suffering.
Me at my heaviest
I fell into playing on-line games to escape reality and it wasn't unusual to eat a large pizza and drink 3-4 Redbulls during my 8 hours a day game playing. That's right 8 hrs! I was addicted to World of Warcraft. People laugh when I say I was addicted to a game, but it can happen and does all the time. 

Me just before starting Jui Jitsu
My Cholesterol was through the roof; my triglycerides were in the 800s. I was at high risk for heart disease, heart attack, and hyper tension due to my kidneys. On top of that, because my kidneys were not functioning properly, I had 2 blood clots work their way through my heart into my lung, causing necrosis of some of my lung tissue. Sounds Fun, huh?

Hospital Blood Clot
  Well, I was not a social butterfly either. I really did not like social gatherings and hated going out trying to recapture my youth over drinks with friends. I cut myself off from all my friends, and really, my family also. Like I said earlier, dark times.

My therapist suggested to go for it when someone suggests a social gathering or an event to hang out with people. I should stop cutting off all outside world contact, and just go and try and have fun. I started to do events and going out; I started to have fun again. I met all kinds of interesting people in the world of MMA which I loved. I met Eric Lee, owner of  a local MMA gym and he was a lot of inspiration. He talked me out of my comfort zone and  I started a local MMA blog, went to local events, and met some of the local fighters.

Then came time to get in shape. I cancelled my Warcraft account and changed my diet. I didn't do the gym at the time, but started doing other things like walking and running.  

2011 No-gi
Fast forward to October 2010: I made a goal to start jiu jitsu by the end of 2010. I started and immediately fell in love with the sport., I love MMA, but I do not like getting hit the face :P
2011 Wife captured the moment
I met all kinds of people and made some friends, at Swamp Fox BJJ. From 2006-present I have lost 55lbs total, my cholesterol and Triglycerides are almost normal range, my marriage is the best it has  ever been, and we are expecting out first child.
Push Up Challenge( I did 69 in 90 seconds)

Jiu Jitsu has given me a second chance at my life. It has given me confidence in myself. I have done things that I thought I would never do: like a push up challenge, a 5k, and a 4 mile obstacle course, starting CrossFit, and starting this blog and sharing my life with total strangers

What has jiu jitsu done for me? It should be what hasn't it done me? I started with the goal to get in shape and lose weight and little did I know how my life would change, by just putting on gi.

What has jiu jitsu done for everyone else? It is mind blowing how much of an impact it can have on your life. Please feel free to share your story, comment, or feedback.

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