YOU. Yes you. You will be this year’s WORLD CHAMPION. Stare yourself in the mirror and say it. Scream it in the shower. Tell all your friends. If you aren’t going into the pyramid with that mentality, chances are, you’re not making it to that podium. You have to trust and believe that all of the hard work; all of the blood, sweat, and tears; all of the long talks with your coaches and teammates and maybe your Mom…are finally enough. The hard work is officially done. Now the fun part gets to start! That walk up the stairs of the pyramid. The electricity in the air. The energy reverberating. The sounds and screams and cheers. The familiar faces and the blur of all the rest. It’s almost time to shine. It’s almost time to be a World Champion. 


YOU CAN’T. Those words fuel ALLLLLLL of your fire. You can’t be a gymnast. You’re too tall. You can’t play Captain Hook in the school play. That’s for a guy. You can’t do Jiu Jitsu. You have an autoimmune disease. Someone tells you you can’t and you will prove to you that you can. And then you will just keep on going with it. Maybe you didn’t get into Jiu Jitsu to be a competitive athlete, or Maybe you did…but you certainly can’t help your nature. When you do something you want to do it the very best that you can. It’s almost time to be a World Champion


YOU CAN’T TEACH (and also compete). So now you’ve gotten some medals. Some very prestigious ones. Some people know your name. You’re coaching. So now you’re going to stop competing right? Give up on that dream? Focus on other people? Ummmmmm….yes you definitely will focus on your students and STILL compete. If anything it will reinvigorate you. Watching them learning. Watching them competing for the first time. Watching them winning (and losing) pushes you more than anything has ever pushed you before in this sport. They are your lifeline to wanting to go even harder and higher and make them proud every time you step on that mat. It’s almost time to be a World Champion. 


YOU CAN’T TEACH HEART. This is facts. That is not to say that you can’t help someone understand how to use heart. Or that you can pull something out of someone that didn’t know they had it in them. But that deep down passion, desire, yearning, champion, warrior, fighter mentality? That’s either there or is not. It’s almost time. That moment you hear your name called, you step out of the shadows, take your hood off, your headphones come off and the rush of the crowd is there. It’s almost time. Your heart, pumping, but controlled. That walk down the aisle to your mat. Name badge down. Shoes off. Repeating whatever mantra works for you. Almost time. The ref signals for you to step out. Heart beating faster now. Almost time. Shake hands. Zero care for who is standing across from you. Because now IT’S TIME. It’s time for you to do all the things you do best. Time to let it all out. Time to not care about a single other thing in existence. It’s time to show ALL HEART #YouCantTeachHeart 


By Sa’idah Durkee


Sa’idah Durkee smiling at a Jiu Jitsu competition.
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