This past Wednesday I spent the afternoon at Balance Studios in Philly doing BJJ (jiu-jitsu). I’m still training hard and in good shape, but it’s more of a psychological boost that I get from training nowadays, as I don’t have anything scheduled fight wise. It makes me feel good…unless I get my butt kicked.
Balance is known for having some of the toughest blackbelts in the region. This is gi (or as my friend/former roommate used to call it, “karate uniform”) jiu-jitsu, which is not my first specialty, but I’d say I can hold my own with just about anyone. Last Wednesday reminded me of something very important, however, and that is…
You just never know.
Whether it’s a seemingly random passerby, maybe someone you hold the door for, someone you verbally attack for accidentally cutting you off, or just a stranger you help with a small favor, you never know who you are dealing with. I walk into Balance as a professional fighter with a lifetime of competing at the highest levels, and on certain days, I get absolutely destroyed by seemingly “normal” guys who are just training during their lunch break. I sat in disbelief after the session ended, amazed at how these men who walk into Balance with their inconspicuous work clothes on are able to transform into terrors on the mat.
It got me thinking. You just never know who you’re dealing with, in any avenue of life. My advice: Be respectful and considerate of everyone you meet, until they give you a reason not to. We have no idea who they are or what their story is, so erring on the side of “too nice” is my preferred standard.
And trust me, you don’t want to accidentally mouth off to one of these BJJ monsters!
I’d love to hear any stories of this in your lives. BTW, posting is easy (If you’re already signed in via Fbook/Twitter, you can post away), and it is greatly appreciated!
Hasta la vista!
I find the “you never know who you’re talking to so don’t mouth off” advice especially helpful when hanging out at NCAA’s. You said once that you’ve never been a fighter. How did you find the side of yourself that allows you to transform into a fighter… and an elite one at that?
Always staying humble has been key. Starting at the bottom and receiving advice from people qualified to give it.
Interesting that you cite being humble. It’s counterintuitive to associate top notch athleticism with humility. I think it’s a great perspective for an athlete. Being humble challenges one to keep growing, whether in sports or other pursuits.
I don’t know that it’s counterintuitive, but uncommon for sure. I’ve been taught to be humble since the early days of wrestling. Humility is one of my favorite characteristics in anyone. Thanks for the interaction Eric!