Mikey Musumeci Says We Place “Too Much Emphasis on Winning”

Source: Kitt Canaria

Money can’t by happiness, and neither can World Championships.

Mikey Musumeci should know, considering he’s now a multi-time IBJJF Worlds black belt champ, one who is making a point to verbalize how reaching the pinnacle of his competitive career didn’t bring any of the peace he thought it would.

“Every year and belt since the time I was Blue Belt Juvenile I in 2012, I won the Worlds and every year was the same thing. I would win and already think about the next opponents I will be fighting in the next belt again and again. I never was able to enjoy winning, but in my mind I was going to enjoy so much when I accomplish my dream of winning black belt worlds. Right? My life was going to completely change! Except that didn’t happen. When I won my first black belt worlds in 2017 I went into a depression. I thought a medal was going to bring me happiness, but I realized I had to change other things in my life,” wrote Musumeci in a candid post to social media.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mikey explains he had to do literal soul searching, as well as seek out coaches like Andre Galvao, Caio Terra, and Lucas Lepri for advice on how to proceed after his big victory failed to change his life for him.

“I began forcing myself to go to church everyday and I accepted in my mind I would not compete again unless I really wanted to, but I had to learn to train for fun. I would ask God to help me through this tough time. And then what happened was I began to not feel alone anymore. I felt a connection to God, I didn’t feel numb. That connection to god brought me out of that dark time,” he says. The experience has left him with a warning for other high achievers:

ADVERTISEMENT

“An object does not bring you happiness.”

His full reflection is posted here:

View this post on Instagram

Something I want to talk about is that I think people put too much emphasis on is winning worlds and a gold medal. This goal is a great as a motivation to work hard and to improve your jiu jitsu, but when it becomes everything to you, you lose a lot more than you gain from winning. My whole life this was my dream to win the worlds. I didn’t socialize with friends, date or went out like the people my age always did. I made it everything to win the worlds. Every year and belt since the time I was blue belt Juvenile 1 in 2012, I won the worlds and every year was the same thing. I would win and already think about the next opponents I will be fighting in the next belt again and again. I never was able to enjoy winning, but in my mind I was going to enjoy so much when I accomplish my dream of winning black belt worlds. Right? My life was going to completely change! Except that didn’t happen. When I won my first black belt worlds in 2017 I went into a depression. I thought a medal was going to bring me happiness, but I realized I had to change other things in my life! I accomplished the goal I built up so much in my mind through the years, and I felt nothing. I didn’t feel like doing anything. I felt super alone and that no one could understand what I was going through. I spoke to my professor @caioterrabjj also @galvaobjj @lucaslepri @gilbert_burns to try to get advice. So then, I began forcing myself to go to church everyday and I accepted in my mind I would not compete again unless I really wanted to, but I had to learn to train for fun. I would ask God to help me through this tough time. And then what happened was I began to not feel alone anymore. I felt a connection to God, I didn’t feel numb. That connection to god brought me out of that dark time. The next 2 years I would go on to win the black belt worlds again. But now my mindset is completely different. No, I am not competing for a medal, I am competing for myself. The medal is just recognition of the amount of hard work and effort I put into this. An object does not bring you happiness. Just like materialistic people, things don’t bring them happiness. Don’t look for happiness through things!

A post shared by Mikey Musumeci (@mikeymusumeci) on

Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here