I started doing yoga at least once a week about 5 months ago. I hate it! Why do I hate it? Because I am terrible at it. I struggle with almost every pose and I truly feel like I am redefining what it means to suck at something.


(For those of you that don't know, I had a 3 level fusion in my neck 5 or 6 years ago. The week before my last fight I fractured a vertebrae in my neck while I was training. Before this, I had 3 bulging disks, and narrowing of the nerve pathways, plus bone spurs. I had some and other things wrong with my neck also but those were the big issues. This training incident changed my life. The fractured vertebra was the end for me as a MMA Fighter. As an athlete I have never been the same. But I have learned to deal with that.)

So why am I still going at least once a week to yoga? Because I am scared without it I won't be able to train Jiu-Jitsu or go to the race track on my motorcycle anymore. For me, life without Jiu Jitsu would be miserable. Jiu Jitsu for me is like breathing, it brings focus and joy to my existence. I am 45 and I am on the mats grinding/training at least 5 days of the week. On top of that I teach 6 days a week. I love the challenge of still improving. I love teaching and helping my students improve. It is that simple. In order to continue to train I have to do this other thing that I do not enjoy.

Today while attempting to contort my body into some unholy position. I found myself thinking the instructor must be thinking I am unathletic and terrible at yoga. But then I compared my own thoughts as Jiu-Jitsu instructor. I realized I don't think about my students like that. What is happening is I am 8 weeks into yoga and I don't know anything about yoga yet. My understanding is so limited in what we are doing. Why am I being this hard on myself.

Of course I suck! I have the natural flexibility of a cinder block and a lifetime of combat sports has not improved that. I have only been doing yoga for 8 weeks. I would guess a year from now I will still not be very good at yoga. But that is ok. I am not going to yoga to be good at yoga. I am going to yoga to help my neck and back so I can continue doing the things I do love. At the end of the day its a humbling reminder of how it feels to absolutely suck at something.

Conclusion: I love training and I love motorcycles so I will continue going to Yoga. It is important to remember that at one point everyone has sucked at something. Being terrible is an integral part of the learning process. It is a glaring reminder that there is improvement for you to grow. It allows you to feel the bottom step of the ladder so that you can look up to the top. No one wakes up and plays basketball like Lebron James. There has never been a Jiu-Jitsu player who won worlds their first day of training. Growth and improvement are important in all aspects of life. Improve one area and you are a better person today than yesterday. I really think most people would benefit training Jiu-Jitsu. Or just getting off the couch and going for a run. But most people won't they will continue to let there bodies deteriorate. Why because it is hard. Life is hard. Good. Some times the best thing you can do for yourself is to get up off the couch and work on the things that we aren't good at.