By Jahred Dell [articulatebjj.com]
When we look at the larger picture, the majority of grapplers are not professionals training full time. For most, shift work and 9-to-5 jobs still demand attention and energy, relationships need to be sustained and families need to be taken care of. Multi-tasking is a myth. None of these things can be a focus without another’s detriment. Any given person can only really focus on doing one or two things well at any time. This is the reason priorities exist.
Not everyone has the luxury of having a singular priority to train every day, especially when keeping food in the mouths, and a roof over the head, of loved ones.Is the mom or dad who can only manage to train twice a week any less dedicated than the young athletic competitor? No. Are there priorities that take precedence over training? Absolutely.
I’ve had jobs since I was 16 and, other than studying at university, I’ve never been afforded the luxury of not having to work. I’ve always had to fit my training around work or study. I’ve often had to wrestle with the question of whether this means I’m less dedicated than those who can train full time, or take time away from work to train. I’ve been left feeling unmotivated by this subjective comparison, despite the objective truth being different.
I have a huge amount of respect for people juggling family responsibilities, jobs and still managing to train. To me, that takes a higher degree of dedication; getting ready after a long shift or day at work and, despite objections from loved ones who want more time with you, dragging yourself to the gym to invest in your own (and others’) training.
We arrive at the gym and so do our training partners, we leave the gym and so do our training partners. We spend little time thinking about what their life might be like outside of the gym. What responsibilities do they have? What has their journey been like? What are they struggling with? It’s not that we don’t care; we’ve all got our own shit going on too, but social dynamics often stop short of giving us a developed perspective on the lives of our training partners.
Here’s a simple exercise, make a list of all the responsibilities, people, thoughts (and even emotions) you encounter in just a single day. This is your human experience; the life you lead. Now understand that, outside of you, this occurs for every single person on the planet. Perspective is necessary to develop compassion for others’ journeys. Your 1 minute interaction with a person is just an apostrophe in your and their experience for that day; you’re not even dipping your toes into the waters of that person’s life.
Abstraction aside, everyone is making their way through an existence that constantly throws a lot of static and white noise at one’s mind & soul. I’d like to think that most people are trying their best to carve out something meaningful with their existence. What else is this journey for really?
Thanks for reading,