I really wanted to write about my new years resolutions and fresh starts to training and all that jazz but I was just so busy with work, and then my car had its MOT that needed sorting, and then the bad weather hit which meant I couldn’t get to training on Tuesday, and my injury was playing up due to the cold, and anyway the next day the academy was closed due to the snow, and then I couldn’t get a lift, I didn’t sleep well, I didn’t eat properly, I had to see my Nan, I was out with mates, I forgot to wash my Gi, I didn’t want to arrive late, I overslept, I was tired, I was ill, I was hung over, and I got caught up with other things.
I know, I know. I’m sorry. I’ve let you down. I’ve let myself down, and most importantly, I’ve let my school down…
Ok, I’m lying. I never was going to write a post about new starts and new years resolutions. In fact I refuse to make new years resolutions for the simple fact they are a pointless depressing waste of time. Call me crazy but I think if you really want to do something — Learn another language, join a gym, write a novel, start a BJJ blog or whatever — you should probably just crack on and do it; and not only should you, I’m fairly certain if you actually really want to do something, you will. Conversely if you really aren’t that bothered about doing something (or really don’t want to) you will keep coming up with excuses as to why you never got round to it. Waiting for arbitrary dates in the calendar to change your life is merely an exercise in procrastination: The “I’ll start afresh next week” Chimera that haunts us all.
As with new years resolutions, so with training.
Obviously the list above is me being flippant to make a point, but I have to sadly admit I’ve used nearly all of those as reasons for missing training at one time or another. I know, I know. I am made of excuses… But here’s your homework assignment: Go back through the list above and see which apply to you, then decide which are genuine reasons for missing training, and which were just you making excuses – who’s the slacker now?
Seriously though. I’m not the sort of asshole that is going to bang on about how if you aren’t training every hour you can then you aren’t dedicated enough and should just give up — I think the hypocrisy police would be on my doorstep in a jiffy* — but what I will say is that you should take an honest and objective look at how you train, what you want to achieve, and how you can realistically achieve those goals. There is simply no point lying to yourself and pretending you are a hardcore fighter if in reality you only train once a week and constantly make excuses for why you missed all the other sessions available to you. If anything, setting unrealistic goals for yourself can ultimately be harmful. To quote from the article I linked to above:
Professor Richard Wiseman states ominously that “failing to achieve your ambitions is often psychologically harmful because it can rob people of a sense of self-control”.
The fact is people train BJJ for all sorts of reasons: Some do it to keep fit, some to win comps, some for self-defense, and some simply because they enjoy it; there are part timers, hobbyists, enthusiasts, semi-pros and pros out there. Decide which you want to be and train hard towards that end.
Finally with all this talk about commitment and goals I will end by echoing my instructors words that progression is directly linked to mat time. So get out there, train hard, and smash harder.
*admittedly first they’d have to get past the fashion police, the faux pas police, and the delegation of Eliza Dusku’s lawyers serving me with another restraining order.