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Sunday, September 28, 2014

White Belt Survivor Series w/ Mike Pinero

The White Belt Survivor Series is going to be an on-going series of guest posts from those who have survived the White Belt stage of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and have words of advice, encouragement, and/or a unique story to tell to help inspire off of you to keep going through the valleys and get back to those peaks. In this inaugural post, BJJ Blue Belt, Mike Pinero who trains under Josh Griffiths of Clockwork BJJ (650 Broadway, 2nd Floor, NYC) talks about how he got into BJJ and how it lead to him losing 120 pounds. So, without further adieu, Mike Pinero...

At the end of the day, we all start Jiu jitsu for a reason. Some of us for personal reasons, some of us for athletic problems, and some of us because we watched a UFC and said: ‘hey, f*ck it, I wanna try this out.’ At the end of the day we all do this for one reason or another; and some days this thing we do is going to hit us in the face like a brick wall. Your time off the mat is going to feel off. Your training that day you come back is going to feel like you can’t do anything right, everyone is tapping you, or your getting caught up in side control or half guard all the time. It sucks I know, I have been there too. I have had those days where I want to do is go home and bury my head and quit, even now after 2 years.

I recently had a visitor from another school come in and roll with me; and choke me out—I mean out like lights out. He caught me with a choke I had never seen before and he put me out. When I came to I was light headed and sat out for a few and then kept going. That night, after I left class, I felt embarrassed and very discouraged; because I felt like I had let my coach and my team down. Like, how the hell do I let someone who doesn’t even train with us come in and do that? It’s as if some stranger came into my house ate my food and put his feet up on the table. And also because I know I am better than that, to just let that happen. 

So for a few days after that, even when I came back to class, I felt like my world had stopped. I was letting myself be discouraged mentally over something that, in reality, happens A LOT. A couple of days later I sat back and then remembered why I joined Jiu jitsu and what got me to where I am today—hard work and determination.

I remembered I once weighed 310 lbs and now had lost 120lbs. I remembered that at the end of the day, I worked really hard to get to where I was; and I wasn’t going to let this one little thing get me down any more. And sometimes it’s okay to have a bad day on the mats, and it’s okay to feel helpless or that things aren’t clicking the way you think they should be. But always remember why you got into this, remember what motivates you, what drives you to be here day in and day out, and remember that one day you will achieve the things you need to with this sport. Then, when you do, you’ll look back like I did and laugh about it. Because at the end of the day, it’s all one big learning lesson; all black belts, brown belts, purple belts, and blue belts were once white belts. And this thing we do is evolving day in and day out. So everyone is always learning, just like you. Some days are going to be better than others but dig deep and remember what brought you here in the first place and stick with it.

Check out Mike's testimonial in the YouTube video above. Truly, his story is an inspiring and motivational one. We all do this for one reason or another, and like Mike says: "rememeber what brought you here in the first place," and keep going. For more of what Mike has to say, check out HIS BLOG HERE and tell him how much you appreciate him sharing his story with us and letting all of us know that we can do it. Mike got his blue belt last August, and truly is a White Belt Survivor. 

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