An Unexpected Promotion

It is difficult being stoic sometimes. I’ve trained myself to not worry about the things I cannot control. To a certain extent, I succeed. This last week put these feelings to the test.

When I mentioned that there would be a John Hansen Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seminar to my wife on Saturday, and that Cody (my coach) would be giving out promotions, she said what I was feeling. “You’re not getting a stripe, right, because of your shoulder?”

“He does like consistency,” I told her, “and even with the shoulder giving me problems, I have been consistently going to class. A stripe is a possiblitity, but I can definitely see it going both ways.” By the end of our discussion, I had come to terms that it was outside of my control, and that I would stand by the coach’s decision. After all, I love jiu jitsu, so I’ve got plenty of time for decorations on the belt that keeps my Gi on.

The seminar is upon us, and we all line up. As I stood there at the end of the white belt line, with my teammate Nathan standing to my right, thoughts flooded my mind.

With my surgery in January, it is going to be June… maybe July until I get to roll again. That sucks. That means I won’t be able to compete again until the end of 2020. Maybe I’ll heal faster? No, I better not f*** with the healing process. Oh well, we all have different paths. Mine looks like its going to take longer…

“Jason! Get up here!” yells coach.

Well I’ll be damned! I’m getting a stripe after all. How cool is that?!?

It is hard to describe the feeling of getting promoted in jiu jitsu to outsiders. I’m sure you can imagine, but without getting to the gym and rolling with some of these monsters you just won’t get it. Seeing teammates that you have spent many hours drilling and rolling with get up there and get promoted is a proud moment. My consistency and hard work had paid off, and I got some knuckle bumps for my fourth stripe.

What Happened Next Blew My Mind

I knew coach to be one to build up a little drama, but I wasn’t expecting what came next. To be honest, I cannot think of what he was talking about as he led up to the next belt promotion. There was talk about how we shouldn’t concern ourselves with promotions. How we should just come to class and train and let the promotions come when they may. He mentioned how he doesn’t take belt promotions lightly.

Sometime during a specific belt promotion, he started describing a teammate who has been battling injuries and is about to have shoulder surgery in January. Whaaaaat? That’s me, I thought. I admit my eyes began to get a little watery, but I didn’t let a tear form.

Coach called me up a second time.

My new belt. That Blue looks good.

“You better get back here after you’re healed up from surgery,” coach said.

Along with death and taxes, there is another thing that is certain. I’ll be back and ready to roll harder than ever. The love I have for my fellow sisters and brothers in jiu jitsu is strong.

Rhiannon, me, Cody, Nathan

Congrats to all those that got stripes, and my fellow blue belt “class” mates Rhiannon and Nathan. Congrats to Matt on his purple belt, and to Shawn on his brown belt!