In most of my correspondences regarding this pandemic, I’ve found myself repeating that there’s no “rule book” here or “how-to” guide on how to adjust to this. We’re witnessing a very unique, unprecedented historic time unfold, and with that comes a lot of different emotions. As I miss jiu-jitsu like most, some valuable lessons that jiu-jitsu has taught me are the very things helping me through this quarantine. These are the three qualities that jiu-jitsu has strengthened that I find myself relying on right now.
There’s no denying that you have to have a great level of patience to practice jiu-jitsu. You are pretty much guaranteed to spend your first several months confused, sore in ways you didn’t think possible, and tapping a lot. I learned quickly that despite being eager to improve and progress in jiu-jitsu, I had to be patient. I am employing that same patience throughout this quarantine because I know this will pass. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of theories about how long this is likely to last, and grow more and more anxious. But I’ve been striving to find a medium between staying informed while maintaining my peace of mind. As eager as I am to return to training, I think it’s very important that we are patient right now and let things run their course. Going back to our daily routines too soon could have detrimental effects, and it’s worth waiting a bit longer if it means ensuring everyone’s safety. Jiu-jitsu taught me the importance of being patient, that good things take time, and I think being patient with myself, and in general, is very important right now.
In order to improve in jiu-jitsu, you need to go to class regularly, and that requires a lot of discipline. Jiu-jitsu became something I have prioritized and made a conscious effort to fit into my daily schedule. Being consistent with training and my health and fitness goals has required a lot of discipline throughout the years. Jiu-jitsu taught me the importance of being disciplined, that it’s a quality that is not easy to possess, but results in great things. Throughout this quarantine, I’ve been trying really hard to stay disciplined. With my whole schedule uprooted, it’s easy to spend my days watching TV. That said, I’ve held myself accountable for staying active, being productive working from home, and trying to stick to a schedule. That’s not to say I haven’t indulged in sleeping in occasionally or binge-watching shows, but I have tried to be disciplined in maintaining a schedule that works for me.
Anyone who not only willingly but enthusiastically participates in a hobby where they are essentially beaten up every day has to be resilient. Jiu-jitsu has gifted me with the mentality of facing many obstacles head-on rather than shying away from conflict. It’s taught me that “toughness” isn’t something we are born with, but rather a quality that we can choose to work towards. This whole situation has me choosing to be resilient now more than ever. I’ve identified certain healthy aspects of my life that are helping me cope right now. Over the years jiu-jitsu has demonstrated the power of resilience, to bounce back after defeat, and to choose to carry on despite the urge to give up. Right now I’m using that sense of resiliency to help me stay mentally and physically strong so that when this is all over, I will be able to return to my daily routine with ease.
I know the jiu-jitsu community will come out the other side of this pandemic even stronger, and like many, I am eager for the day we can all get together to train again. In the meantime, I’m continuing to employ these things that I have learned from jiu-jitsu to help me adjust to this new lifestyle. I’m grateful to be a part of a community that has encouraged patience, discipline, and resiliency within me. Drawing upon these qualities during this tough time only reaffirms that the benefits of jiu-jitsu stretch far beyond the physical.