I’ve written several blogs now and even started up a short video blog as well. However one important thing I never really spoke about was the name, Keep Calm and Roll On. We heard tons of Keep Calm and (something else) phrases and quotes and Keep Calm and Roll On is the easiest and best way I can describe my philosophy not only in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but also in my personal life.
Reaching the end of 2012, I hit a very unfamiliar place. This is aside from the normal daily stress you get from work and whatever else life brings your way. I didn’t feel like me. Just to give you some history on my personal life, I’ve always been the outgoing, free spirited, break the mold kinda guy. Since I was young, I knew I wanted and I had to do something people don’t normally do. Live my life how I wanted and not what was drawn out for me. The more I felt trapped and suffocated by what I felt society and even friends and family expected of me, the more I wanted to rebel. The more I wanted to dare the odds. I never felt as if I was missing something or even someone from myself as I did then. I had many regrets in my life that held me back for years and kicking off 2013, I wanted to assure myself that this year was going to be the year of me. Meaning that I want and need every bit of me to be whole and when my birthday passed in February, I had a reality check and a deep conversation with myself like no other.
People say within the years, they have seen me grow and change and this year was the biggest. I sat down with myself each private moment I had on the couch, shower, bed, outside and even restaurants. I asked myself one very important question that changed my life so rapidly and dramatically. If I was on my deathbed today, can I say I’m ready to die? The answer was scary and not as simple as you may think. It was a hell no! I reassessed my life, who I was, where I was going, where I wanted to go and most importantly what I wanted from myself. Try asking yourself the questions most valuable to you and genuinely and HONESTLY answer them. If you felt the same as I did when I answered them, which was deeply sad, angry and regretful, then you answered your questions truthfully. Now the next step is to pursue it.
The time life exists in is short. Meaning that even when we feel as if our day is passing so slowly, once our day is finally over, we tend to forget what we did during that day. See how fast time really goes by? Also after my grandmother’s death, which is still hard for me to say, I realize you CAN’T put a timeline on people and on your own life. You don’t know when your time is up! So make the most out of it and LIVE it to the fullest of your potential in WHAT you want to do in life. I refer to that as the road of life, which is long therefore, allowing you to try, explore and experience as many things as possible. I didn’t want to waste MY life’s time and drive on someone else’s life’s road. That’s when I made my decision.
I decided it was time for me to commit and dedicate myself to something that means a lot to me and that I received many benefits from, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I couldn’t stick it out in college and I enjoyed working and making money. Then at work, I’d get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. I started to also miss spending time with friends and family. I got caught up surrounding myself with work, 50 plus hours a week shifts and missing out on so much. I was killing myself for other people’s best interest and dreams and completely side lined my own. I missed the last months and days when my grandmother was alive for a fucking check I can’t even remember where it went! But what hit me worst was not being able to remember when was the last time I sat and had a conversation with her and I’ll never get the chance to now. The person that everyone used to see me as, the cocky, materialistic, high maintenance and money hungry person died the same day she did and all I want to do now is make her proud. I look to only have her see me from above, living my life for others and not only for myself. That’s what Jiu Jitsu taught me. That’s what the lifestyle of Jiu Jitsu has given me.
From the philosophy to the training, I want to dedicate my life to all the aspect BJJ brings to the table. BJJ has shown me to live in the moment and to take my time. If something doesn’t seem to work out and doesn’t go my way, it’s okay, keep moving forward. It taught me to let go and accept the things I cannot change and only concern myself with what I can. I find peace and balance with myself and my surrounds through its teachings, that’s why I practice yoga and surfing because aside from all the other physical exercise needed in BJJ, a calm, clear and balanced mental state is just as if not MORE important. Yoga and surfing challenges the mind to practice patience and calmness and without the two I’d be the same person as I was before. Helping others improve their Jiu Jitsu helps me become a better person by making a connection with the individual. They realize that their game has improved not just by force but also with balance and harmony and to see another person feel that is more gratitude I can get in life than anything else. I will continue to learn, inspire and motivate because that what I get from Jiu Jitsu and all I want is to pay it forward.
I appreciate so much more in my life since making my decision and I feel the happiest I’ve ever felt. I still have much to do and to go through but with all the steps I’ve taken so far and all the blessings I’ve received, I know I’m on the right path and no one is going to steer me wrong. This is my passion and my goal. I have no money, no “real” job but I have this. I have Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Keep Calm and Roll On is not just to improve your Jiu Jitsu but also to improve and better you as a person. Keep Calm and Roll On is my personal philosophy on life that saved me from a life I never wanted to live in the first place.