After I left jiu-jitsu class last evening, I went to get dinner for the kids. As I was waiting for my food, I got to talking to this man about jiu-jitsu. He noticed I was wearing Gi pants and that I was sweating profusely. He asked, “You just come back from karate or something?” I replied, “Actually jiu-jitsu.” He was a little surprised and exclaimed, “Really? Don’t get me wrong but aren’t most of those guys fit and in shape?” Uhhmm, thank you? I gave him the line Coach Jeff told me once, “They’re in shape because they DO jiu-jitsu.” He then said, “Nice but I could never do that though. I don’t want to be “that guy” who sucks in class.” So we get our food… Exchange good-byes… And go on with our lives.
I sat in the car feeling a little down on myself because of what that guy said. In jiu-jitsu class, I am the slowest one, the most out of shape and I have trouble with a lot of the techniques. I’m “that guy!” I drove home with the windows open to cool me down and I began to think… “Being “that guy” actually ain’t so bad. I get to take my time during warm-ups until I can get up to speed. During drills, I get extra attention from instructors and higher belts because I sometimes need more help.
Also, I’m allowed more time to take a drink of water, catch my breath and take a blast from my inhaler. In addition, I’m not expected to spin around, flip on to my side, do a cartwheel into spider guard then do a flying arm bar. Instead, I get custom options to techniques since I have body limitations. Best of all, being “that guy” allows me to only improve. If I remain consistent in my training and give it my best, I can only get better, right? Remember, I may be “that guy” now but eventually I will become “that guy who tapped you out.”