Changing Goals

Such a dork getting my one and only stripe.

This is a tough post to write, but seeing it in black and white signals the end of any hope that I might return to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. After only 4 months of training and earning my 1 stripe, I am giving it up. You might find it ironic that so many of my posts and inspirational messages and images contain the “Never Give Up” message. And yet, here I am quitting.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Quitting BJJ absolutely breaks my heart. I loved training, even though I wasn’t any good at all. You can read about my adventure here. After only 4 months, I will miss my training partners and my school. Oddly enough, I also worry that these new friends will think less of me for leaving.

I have no other excuse for quitting except for physical limitations. The training led to several injuries that will take some time to recover from. I know most of the students in my school are injured at one time or another. They don’t seem to have a problem returning to class. At 53, I just don’t heal as fast as I used to. Grappling is harder on the body than I expected, and I guess I’m not as willing to risk debilitating injury as I used to be.

Over the past 2 months, I have spent way too much time getting medical tests to check on various injuries. I had an ultrasound to check for a trauma induced blood clot. It was fortunately negative. I also had an x-ray and MRI for my spine. And now I’m in physical therapy to help heal a lower lumbar strain. I still don’t know how I’ll deal with the previously undetected scoliosis, bulging discs, arthrosis, and annular tear that the MRI discovered.

At some point, no matter how much you believe in never quitting, your body may simply not be able to play the game. Your goals change. Your focus moves elsewhere. My goal has become broader than being a Jiu Jitsu student. It is changing to becoming healthy again and staying fit. My hope is that even if I can’t do Jiu Jitsu, I can return to doing some of the really fun stuff that I did before in my regular workouts. For at least the time being, I have to stop doing deadlifty kinds of things, weighted squats and lunges, and jumps.

I keep telling myself that it will take more than this to hold me back or keep me down. But my goals are changing and my definition of success looks different than it did 6 months ago. I’m still trying to convince myself that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, just different.

———-Stay Tuned! This story isn’t over yet!———-