My son entered his senior year of high school recently. And if you know me, I brag about his prowess on the gridiron. He was chosen a captain of the football team, a returning starter, and had the highest amount of tackles of any returning player. However he has received no recognition in the press or social media, he wasn’t listed among the top returning players for his school. To throw salt into the wound, a sophomore qb who hasn’t played a down of varsity football was listed. Recently, an article in the local paper featured a player from his team, he had a .7 gpa his freshman year and has worked to bring it up to be eligible for his senior year. Yet nothing about my son. A kid who has worked his ass off to play any and every position asked of him in the 3 years he’s been at that school. He’s played middle linebacker, outside linebacker, runningback, he’s been on all the special teams. He never complains, he just goes out there and gets the job done. He bulks up to 190 to play ball and cuts down to 155-170 for wrestling, every year. He plays through injuries. All facts. It is unfortunate, but such is life. I told my son that he’s gotta give them no reason to leave his name out of the press. And we jokingly came up with his nickname(and new gamertag: NoLuv33) lol
I started to think about where this occurs in other areas in my life. Yes, it is easy to give recognition when one of my students wins their division at a competition, or if they are progressing in jiu jitsu despite unfortunate circumstances. But what about that student that comes in and trains everyday, despite having nagging injuries. The student that comes in despite an increasing workload at their job. The person that never complains, just comes to hone their craft. The person that doesn’t come up with excuses on why they can’t train(I’ve heard them all). I have a few of those people:
Miguel aka “Porkloin” – He comes in almost every day to train with a smile on his face. He’s got injuries from his time served in the Army, but you will never hear him bitch or moan about them. He is a great training partner, and he works his ass off. I think he’s lost 50+ lbs since he started training. He’s always there to lend a helping hand if someone at the gym needs anything. He’s usually the first in and EVERY night he is the last person out of the gym with me when I lock up. Something he does that doesn’t go unnoticed, he stays after and cleans the mats. He will rip the broom out of my hands if I try and sweep the mats. He is part of the backbone that makes GWC special.
Fabricio aka “Maui” – This big goofball makes training fun. He lightens the mood up in the gym when he’s there. This really helps when training is tough and people start gassing, cause he’s like a sparkplug of energy for everyone around him. He truly is a good person and I don’t tell him that enough(maybe I have never told him). He’s usually the butt of my jokes, but he takes it like a champ. He is very coachable, he is a sponge for knowledge. He trains his butt off too, he came in at 320lbs and is now down to 258lbs. Maui, like Porkloin, stays EVERY night to clean the mats. It’s kind of our cooldown after training. They clean the mats, I sweep the floors and clean up the front desk and we engage in just random bullshit conversations. Whether I like to admit it or not, Maui is an integral cog at our academy.
Ron & Fuji aka “the Coppers” – These are two of my lunchtime guys. They are both Tampa PD, so they have weird schedules and can’t make the normal Mon/Weds/Fri classes some weeks. I’ve become good friends with these two in the past year they have trained at the gym, so when they have free time to train on Tues & Thurs I come in and train with them. They are eager to learn, and love to train as much as I do. We get into the gym 9am and just roll until 1pm every time we go in. They are riddled with injuries, but they keep pushing. We all know how important the training is to their profession, so there is an added benefit for us getting in good quality training. Truth be told, these guys are always the ones asking to train. Their motivation is infectious and I have greatly benefited from it as well. It also helps that Ron and Fuji are fuckin goofballs and make training fun.
So props to these guys that come in a train any chance they get. No excuses, no pitty stories. They are just your average jiu jitsu practitioners that train their asses off and are good people.