When it’s time to quit Jiu-Jitsu

This is a nice little article that I read today. I recently had a 1 month time off from training because of an injury and was also asking myself how different my life would be if I quit Jiu-Jitsu. Like what the author said, I’d probably be more focused on my work and increase my income, would also go out more, and lead a unhealthy lifestyle and would probably feel miserable. Check it out:

Source: Anthony Butler for executivejiujitsu.com

I seriously thought about quitting Jiu-Jitsu over the last two weeks. I had an MRI and found that contrary to what my doctor previously thought I have 4 herniated disks in my neck. At random intervals, sharp pain shoots down my shoulder into my forearm and numbs the bottom half of my hand. The first two weeks after my injury I followed my own guidance on how to train around an injury

Know When to Quit
and trained very easy with a plan. Nothing helped. I didn’t noticeably get any better. Working up a good sweat definitely made me feel better, but my neck did not improve. My doctor basically told me to stop being an idiot and to forego not only Jiu-Jitsu but exercise for at least a couple of weeks to give myself a chance to heal.

My wife told me to quit. “You turn 40 in a couple of months and it is time to start acting your age,” she said. I posted a little about it on my Facebook page and I had nearly a dozen comments and most of them revolved around quitting.
My job is going amazingly well and if I traded my Jiu-Jitsu time for more work, I would more than likely increase my income dramatically. If I quit, I probably would have fewer bumps, bruises, aches and pains. I certainly wouldn’t get injured if I traded Jiu-Jitsu for say Yoga or Pilates.
From nearly every rationale angle I should quit.

The trouble is I am not ready to quit. Yes, I am 40 and all of the advice above is great, but I am in what Seth Godin described in his book of the same name The Dip. The dip is the place when something extremely hard becomes easy to quit. It is the place where most rationale people quit. The trouble is just beyond just a little harder lean is an amazing achievement. It is the place where very few people tread because the going is just too hard, too risky, and yes most of all too scary. That is where I am in Jiu-Jitsu. I am on the verge of a real break through. I am at the place where I stop just memorizing moves and sequences and start thinking about Jiu-Jitsu as art.

All of the signs of a future amazing success are in front of me. I train with Marcelo Garcia, the greatest grappler of his generation. I have an entire network of amazing training partners to train with and learn from. I have had some injuries in the last 3 years and because of my high level of fitness and blessed good health have been able to work through them. I am much smarter in my training, diet and fitness than I was when I was 20. All in all if I can push past this setback, something amazing is ahead for me.

The truth is I can’t quit. It would probably drive me to alcoholism or something worse. I have been slightly depressed after not exercising for 3 weeks. I ate too much, drank too much and put on 7 pounds. I need Jiu-Jitsu. It is one of the things that I inexplicably care about and enjoy and just couldn’t imagine being without. One day that may change, but for now it is what it is.

I will quit Jiu-Jitsu only when I lose the feeling of total joy I have rolling or just cannot continue.
I feel much better today. The pain is gone and I can exercise again. Yesterday I did 30 minutes of straight body weight exercises and stretching to see how I felt and besides the extra seven pounds I felt ready to start training again. Tuesday is the day. I will be back in NYC and will take a class. I will skip the open rolling and train light, but I am getting back on the mat. Yes it is scary, but it is what I have to do to stay sane in an insane world.

Good training to you,