As incredible as it is to see the expansion of Jiu-Jitsu with the ever-increasing number of female participants, this blog post is not about them. It is to pay tribute to the wives and mothers of those athletes, without whom our success would be non-existent.
Our art (and passion) is obviously very physically demanding, but the mental and emotional toll that Jiu-Jitsu takes on its practitioners is just as taxing. More times than not, the depression, bouts of being “hangry,” and the like are shouldered by those who mean the most to us – the women in our lives.
They are our driving force, keep us balanced, and remind us that no matter how ferocious we may be on the mat, a tender smile from you and a hug from our children can bring us to our knees. It is that exact dynamic that keeps us truly healthy – mind, body and soul.
My own wife Haley certainly falls into that category. Though she may not train, she – along with our daughter Camryn – has been my biggest supporter in coaching, competing and running an academy. They deal with my late nights, weekends away at tournaments, being exhausted after training, being grumpy during weight cuts, and they’ve been the most attentive nurses when injury occurs. Because they love me. Because they admire my passion. Because they want my dreams to come true.
To Haley – Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for being my inspiration and for always encouraging me to continue chasing my dreams, no matter how impossible they seem. Thank you for your patience when I’m at my most stubborn. And thank you for our beautiful family that you find the strength to continue to nurture day after day. I love you.