When I first started Jiu Jitsu at Alvarez BJJ I was excited about the 6am class because of my work schedule.  I knew it would be convenient for me and allow me to go do this new thing consistently.  After I was in it for a while my drive changed.  It shifted.  My motivation for going to the 6am class matured.  I found new friends on the mats.  I met new people occasionally as new people would visit, or long-time students showed for the early class one day.  The 6am crew became a special group to me.  I became excited to see them, and I could see they were happy to see me there as well.

I struggled some days to get out of bed or would get going and get really drowsy on the way to class, but as soon as I hit the parking lot I woke right up!  I found my parking spot and was excited to walk through those doors!  Every time, even to this day.  I would get butterflies of excitement some days, other days I just felt relaxed and at home walking into the academy.  This was due to the team accountability.

Team accountability became a mental thing for me, but it was also there on the team Facebook page.  It was there in the handshakes when you showed up, the handshakes after class.  It was there in the parking lot after class sharing ideas, motivations, and stories.  Team accountability drives me to get up on time and leave at the same time every day I go to 6am class.  It’s like a ritual, a routine.  I do it not just for me but for my team.

It motivates me to see fellow teammates who are consistently at class.  Some attend many more classes than I do! There are certain teammates I never have to worry about not showing up, and if they don’t, I know it’s due to work unless I hear otherwise.

We all have our challenges in life.  We have things that come up last minute.  BJJ is not what feeds your family or pays your bills, so why should you feel obligated to at least communicate to your team if you can’t make it?  Because your team is expecting you to be there.  They look forward to you being there, to training with you, learning with you, rolling with you.  Let that motivate you to show up for class.  If you can’t due to an unforeseen circumstance, let someone know.

At the time of writing this I am 143 classes in since I started, just passed my first full year in, still a white belt.  Have I missed classes?  Yes I have – for work when I am out of town, or when I am sick and don’t want to bring the germs to the academy out of respect for my team.  I missed a couple classes due to a groin injury and I regret not showing up anyway, sitting on the sidelines and taking notes.  I missed one class because I slept through my alarm clock.  That one day a teammate, a brown belt, teased me on Facebook about it.  I admitted to my failure that day and have never missed a class since then due to sleeping through class.  I care too much about my team and my journey in BJJ to let it down because of a little sleep.

If I don’t get to go to class because of work or illness I worry someone won’t have a partner to train with.  Does this mean I think the class revolves around me?  No!  It’s because of my team accountability that I care about my team, my friends on the mat.  So, if someone says they are going to be there and your teammates look forward to you being there, and then they don’t show up, it’s disappointing.

Your teammates, your friends, look forward to having you in class.  Let that motivate you to get out of bed and show up to class.

See you bright and early!