Student Letter: It's Never Too Late

Posted on 12/2/19 | Revolution Dojo

Student Letter: It's Never Too Late

It's Never Too Late To Start BJJ

I was on an endless road of self-destruction. Getting out of the military and moving around a lot my whole life, I felt lost and disconnected from the world. I suffered from PTSD, feeling weak and embarrassed, I decided to self-medicate. I knew this wasn’t the answer to my problems so it didn’t take long to realize I needed something positive to focus on, something that was going to challenge and push me to be a better person.

I remember my first day on the mats. I was uncomfortable, uncoordinated and had no idea what I was doing and that’s when I knew I needed this in my life. it was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. It took me a while to get comfortable with rolling, it triggered my anxiety and sometimes still does to this day. But I knew I had to continue to fight through it. Most training days I would get overwhelmed and want to give up, but I kept going back. I fell in love and discovered my passion for training.

Then everything fell apart. I lost my parents in the blink of an eye. Then a series of unfortunate events followed. I was completely miserable and had no hope for the future. I was alone and became detached. I tried to fill the void with drugs and alcohol again but it only made things worse. I needed to make a change and the last time I felt whole was when I was training. That’s when I found Revolution.

At the time, Revo was at its Houston Ave location. I was nervous, not only because I felt like I was going to get stabbed on the way in, but I had no idea what was on the other side of this door to this shady looking building with no windows. Talk about the hardest part is walking through the doors. (it has been waaaaay upgraded since) When I finally went inside, the Muay Thai coaches were doing their training session. I was early so I had a chance to watch them train… and listen to them talk smack to each other, which was pretty hilarious. These guys and gals were on a whole next level. Not only was their technique solid, but watching them interact as a team and push each other, you could see how passionate they were about what they were doing. I didn’t have anything close to that camaraderie and work ethic at my previous gym. This was a whole game changer. After that first class I knew I was ready to make some drastic changes in my life. I was hungry for improvement.

I continued training. I set goals, I made a plan, I was actually starting to get my sh!t together. I started believing in myself and for the first time, I felt like others believed in me too. I didn’t have a lot of confidence; I was constantly battling the war going on in my head, never feeling good enough, feeling like I didn’t belong. But the more I trained, those thoughts became less and less. I realized not only had I found a hobby, but I had found a home. We laughed together, cried together and shed blood together. At the end of the day, despite all of our differences, our backgrounds, the struggles we endured, the challenges we faced, everyone was always there for one another. Just seeing coaches take time from their lives to help their students, with no personal gain to them, other than helping the student improve, gave me hope and inspires me.

So, in a nutshell, what has Jiu Jitsu done for me? Both on the mats and everyday life: It proves to me on a daily basis that it doesn’t matter you got knocked down, what matters is that you keep getting back up. It shows me no matter how shitty of a situation you’re in, there’s always a way to come out on top. Its okay to fail, and fail again and again until you get it right, just don't give up. Setbacks happen, you need learn how to adapt and overcome. It gave me a family and people to look up to and be inspired by. It gave me a mentor who believed in me more than I believed in myself. Without this knowledge and support I would probably just be another statistic. Stepping foot on the mats honestly changed my life for the better.

Jeff Messina

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