Dear Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:
We’ve been together for many years, and while my love for you has transformed over time, it has remained a constant in my life. We’re facing some difficulties and doubts lately, and I wanted to reaffirm my belief in you and your power for good, when you are wielded with integrity and self-awareness. I realize that any relationship is a two-way street, and that I am as responsible for our continued harmony as you. And even though I probably don’t say it enough, I’m in it for the long haul.
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”1
You’re just one art, with two fashion statements (gi and no-gi) and three points for side control. You focus on four extremities and comprise five belt levels. Simple as this may sound, you simply make me a better person.
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”2
‘Tis true thou art hot and sweaty, causing malodor and slipperiness like the dog days of August. And yet, thou takest place within the academy, such that the actual weather in the out of doors is unbeknownst to me, frequently for hours on end. Verily, though it snow or rain down locusts, I am none the wiser. That said, thou art as dear to me as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet art (wert?) to the New World two score in the past.
“-do lovers love? Why then to heaven with hell./Whatever sages say and fools, all’s well.”3
There are times when I wonder why I bother. Times when it would be easier to go it alone, or to run off with scrapbooking. Scrapbooking doesn’t make me feel bad about myself the way you do sometimes. But then you do something sweet like remind me that hard work does pay off, or help me forget my day-to-day problems for a while. You leave your mark on my skin in the form of mat burn and bruises. You leave your mark on my character in the form of personal transformation. You leave your mark on my heart in the form of devotion and an overflow of mushy feelings. And it’s at those times that I remember why I bother.
“And Iiiiiiii-eeeeee-iiiiiiiii will always love you.”
I don’t know what the future will bring for us. But I know we’ll face it together, and I know we’ll continue to develop and improve, that we’ll overcome adversities and celebrate victories large and small. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you, growing old together and nursing our old people injuries together. Thank you for all you’ve given me, and all you have yet to give.
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