Training Through Adversity

By: Eugene Tsozik PT, DPT

I recently lost a close family member. It’s really a dramatic route that your mental and physical being takes on when you deal with significant grief or life-altering situations.
I can’t help but think how this situation can be affected by jiu jitsu.

In years past, when I lost someone or had a traumatic life event, I didn’t want to partake in anything. I would sit at home, watch tv, just wait for the hours to pass by just so I could close my eyes and go to sleep. In my thought pattern, time heals all wounds. My desire to train, exercise, even communicate with others was dramatically reduced. I felt isolated in my mind.

As I’m dealing with this current situation, I am overcome with grief, but I have realized just how valuable this time is. Yes its good to grieve, yes be with family, and yes mourn the great loss. I have realized that jiujitsu is the vehicle to propel me to a better place.

Why would I waste this valuable time that I have on this earth? Why not better myself in some way? This is the approach that I want to take. I want to keep training, keep exercising my body and mind, and help my being overcome the tragedy and not start from the beginning but continue to grow and improve.

There was a jiu-jitsu tournament that was fast approaching. Exactly one week from the day I wrote this. To compete is an internal struggle that I had, Would I be ready? Would I break in the middle of my match? Would I even be at my best.

The answers to these questions are ones that I don’t have an answer to. What I do know is this. Jiu-jitsu makes me feel better. It makes me feel more alive. It makes me feel “normal” (whatever that means).

So I was going to change things up. I was going to try and train through adversity. Try and compete and push myself. The goal would be to improve myself, overcome grief, return to a place where I am happy. What is time and happiness? Memories and competition? Success or failure?

In the end it doesn’t matter. Its about what you do and what you make of it. I chose to make the most of the time that I had. I would not waste precious time to improve myself. I would train through adversity. And I would be better for it.