Happily Ever After | written by Margot Ciccarelli
It was 6 years ago in July, I tried jiu-jitsu for the first time in my life.
It was 6 years ago in July when I never looked back.
It was 6 years ago in July. I remember being lost and puzzled, convulsing around on the floor like a fish out of water.
It was 6 years ago in July. My life had changed forever. Or perhaps I was about to discover how it was about to impact everything in my life.
It was 6 years ago in July. I found myself on the island of Maui.
6 years ago in July; imagine if I had done something different. Today on this day in July, my life could be so different.
It was 6 years ago in July. I was a rookie and greener than grass. I was pre-college bound and starting my gap year.
It was 6 years ago in July. There was a local tournament in Maui. The Triple Crown. Some of my friends said I should try it out for fun. I was terrified to compete, especially because I had less than a month of experience under my belt at that point. I didn't think I would ever actively want to try and compete in it. This was just for fun and my passion for martial arts in general.
Now 6 years later, I am fighting professionally and competing in the biggest tournaments in the world, and teaching around the globe. And it is still for fun. You all must know the cliche saying of 'Love what you do and you'll never have to work a day in your life.' ?
Yup, that's what happened right here.
Now 6 years later, I'm going back to Maui and I have a wealth of memories to reminisce and reflect upon and see how far I've come.
It was 6 years ago in July that I thanked a friend for bringing me to try a class.
Now it's 6 years later, and I thank you for sowing the seed that has now grown to become a part of my DNA.
We don't talk as much as we should anymore, but it's because of you that I came to the art in the first place. And that day will continue to live on in my heart to be one of the most memorable and crucial days in my life.
Thank you Pat for taking me to class - words cannot properly convey the magnitude of gratitude in this sentiment.
A second thank you goes out to Justin Waiau for doing those extra drills with me after class. He saw how much I sucked, but he also saw how keen I was to get better - they paid off in the end, my friend.
I'm back in Maui now. But my heart never really left.
Fairytales and stories always have a beginning and an ending. But this fairytale never ends.
So now tell me, what's your story?
Send in your stories of how you got into jiu-jitsu to firstname.lastname@example.org
How has it impacted your life? Would your life be different without it?