Sometimes good news comes when you least expect it!

On Tuesday night I was in Jiu Jitsu class, like usual, but at the end of the class, I got a huge surprise. My coach pulled out a purple belt and called me up to the front to tie it around my waist. I'm still having a hard time processing the whole thing.

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When I started doing Jiu Jitsu in 2017, I had no idea what I was getting into. At first I just thought it was a bunch of sweaty dudes rolling around trying to break each other's arms. Obviously that's a big part of it, but there's so much more. I was absolutely convinced that I would never EVER try it out, but here I am four and a half years later, taking classes 4, 5, sometimes 6 days a week.

There are a lot of reasons I love Jiu Jitsu. It's really hard, but the difficulty just makes you feel that much more accomplished when you do something right. It makes you push yourself both mentally and physically, and you're constantly learning and growing and progressing, even when you think you're not. And trust me, there are a lot of moments where you think you're not. Surprisingly enough, Jitz has become the number one thing that helps me manage my mental health. I always tell people that you can't worry about anything else happening in your life when you're just trying not to die, and by the time the round is over, you're too exhausted to worry!

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I'm so grateful for my coaches and teammates and everything that Jiu Jitsu has done for me. Getting my purple belt was extra special, because I got to look up at the photo of my dad hanging on the back wall. He was an incredible martial artist, and I'm sad that we will never get to train together, but it feels like his love of martial arts can live on through me. I think he would've loved Jiu Jitsu as much as I do. OSS!

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