This story was sent in by an anonymous listener.
6 months ago I was told I was told that the odds of me walking again were slim. I was only in my 20’s but a life of abusing my body had taken its toll on me.
I was an addict, a bad addict, to any number of things. I was in a horrible depression and I weighed damn near 280 pounds, and for a guy like me who is only 6 foot tall that is dangerous. I’d been drawn to MMA for ages and wanted to get closer to the sport, its what I would spend most Saturday nights watching. I was told by doctors that there is a chance I would never be able to walk again, the joints I had in my feet and knees had given up on me, standing up was difficult,
Walking was agony, and I was still in my 20’s.
I went to rehab to detox and spent a month in bed sick, but I wanted to train.
I made what I believe to be a wrong decision, the notion to need to get in shape before trying out for class, but I did it anyway, and dropped 30 pounds in about 3 months. I’d say to anyone wanting to get involved, just try a class, and focus on your conditioning of course, but don’t feel like you ever need to “get in shape” to attend a proper class at a BJJ gym.
It’s been difficult being an out of shape, but what BJJ taught me more than anything else is how to respect your body. One of the things I’ve learned is that the gyms are far more accepting than the ideas we form in our heads about what kind of judgment they are going to pass on us.
As someone who has attempted suicide on multiple occasions, my concern was the judgement in the change room, there was no judgement.
As someone who was overweight, my concern was that I would be judged on the mats, there was no judgement.
As someone who was an addict, my concern was that my addiction would interfere with my training, and for the first time in my life I actually have something to invest myself into that means more and has benefited me in ways I can not possibly describe.
So as to how has BJJ benefited me? It saved my life, because I was on a dark path to an early death and the desire to train, quite literally, saved me.
To anyone out there who is in pain, or who is seeking something – just do it, and don’t give up, be consistent, and disciplined. If it could save me, it could, at the very least, be positive to you.
-Anonymous listener of The BjjBrick Podcast
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