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I'm Scared Shitless...
Here we go.
For me, the rest of 2023 is about change.
Changing cities. Changing job titles. Changing the person I am. Changing the life that I live in nearly every single way possible.
Changing routines, habits, systems, and thought processes.
The rest of 2023 is about change, but it’s also about reinvention.
I’m like an awkward, bearded butterfly with giant cauliflower ears, and I’m about to get in a car and drive 16 hours to break out of the cocoon that I’ve been in for longer than I can remember.
The rest of 2023 is about trying to become the person that I’ve always wanted to be.
It’s about taking chances.
I’m publishing this article on a Thursday at noon Central Time, so as you’re reading this, I’m probably about to pull up to my new apartment in Austin, Texas, where I’ve just signed a 14-month lease on a place that’s about 10 minutes from B-Team Jiu-Jitsu.
I haven’t actually seen the place yet (don’t tell my mom that, I told her I did), and I’m going in completely on a whim. I have no idea if today or anything I’m doing over the next few weeks is going to work out.
My life is a bit like the Twisted Church I competed in a few weeks back:
A complete clusterfuck. (I’ll be doing an article on that match and that experience next week)
Anyway, as for me, I’m going to be training at B-Team for the immediate future and for the next ADCC cycle. I’ll still be traveling very frequently for seminars and competitions, but I’m going to be living in Austin going forward. If you’ve been following my newsletter for a while, this is likely an obvious move given everything I’ve done over the last few months.
Like this, for example:
This move to a new state is the biggest change, and while it is scary, the side effects of this change are the things that are really freaking me out.
Specifically, I’m freaking out about money (work), social life, and Jiu-Jitsu.
In the last few months, I’ve quit my job coaching Jiu-Jitsu, I’ve traveled all over the place training, competing, and teaching, and I’ve invested in writing courses and books like never before. I’ve done everything I can to get the absolute most out of my time when I “belonged to nowhere”.
But now, that time is ending, and it’s time for real life, where I have to address the 3 very important problems listened to above in bold.
Here, I’m going to try and solve these 3 problems for myself.
Hopefully, this will help you in some way. At the very least, I hope it’s entertaining.
1. Money (work)
Money is very important. Even if you do “work that you love”.
No one tells stories about dreamers who give up on their dreams due to a lack of funds.
For me, the last few years have been spent hustling like a lunatic to build an online writing business, a Jiu-Jitsu teaching business (without owning a gym), and also building myself up to be the best Jiu-Jitsu athlete that I can possibly be.
I’ve been building 3 things at once in 3 different crafts:
Being a Jiu-Jitsu Athlete
With this move, I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m going to do about money.
The hard truth is that I really don’t want to start teaching again unless it’s on my terms. I don’t want another iteration of the gig I had before if I can help it.
This isn’t because I don’t like teaching (I love it), I’ve just found that it’s very difficult to write online, train/compete at a professional level, and teach classes/privates 5-6 days per week.
I spent significant portions of the last 2 years burnt out and injured, and my goal is to not have to do that again.
It is, in my experience, close to impossible to compete at a high level, teach, write several thousand words per day, and maintain your sanity and your health. Burnout is inevitable — I know this from my several years spent building up myself to where I am. I’ve gotten to a really good place with my health recently (more on that tomorrow!), and I’m not looking to lose that.
That’s why I’m going to be focusing on writing and competing going forward and also building up my digital platforms like Patreon and this newsletter here.
I’m also working on revamping my online writing career, which is something I’ve honestly not prioritized the same as I used to in the last few months. I’ve only written 10 articles on Medium since May.
The new plan is simple, should work on paper, and it’s going to be tough.
The scary part is that I have no idea if any of this is going to work out.
That’s where my support system comes in.
I actually moved out of Chicago once before — when I was 18 years old. I lived in Eugene, OR, for school for about a year and a half.
It was the most painful experience of my life.
I became more depressed than I ever was in my entire life. I had a terrible heartbreak that completely broke me psychologically (I wasn’t very strong back then). I almost dropped out of school after every semester.
My life was a mess, I had no direction, I was bad in school, and all I had going for me was that I was decent at Jiu-Jitsu and insanely motivated to win Jiu-Jitsu matches and tournaments.
Mind you, I was not good at Jiu-Jitsu. I was “decent”.
For a blue belt.
Socially, I didn’t have friends when I lived in Oregon (I only remain friendly with one person from those days), and I was completely miserable in every aspect of my life. It sucked.
That changed when I moved home to Chicago, but it was a difficult transition. It took me years to build a strong social system here.
Today, as I write this, I have the best friends I could ask for and my parents have finally bought into this “Jiu-Jitsu athlete/writer” dream of mine, and I’m leaving everyone at home to chase a dream.
Who the fuck would do that?
I know a lot of people in Austin, but I don’t really have a lot of “friends” yet. I hope that I will in time, but I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen. It’s chaos.
Or at least, right now it feels like that.
I’m trying to focus on only controlling what I can control, which unfortunately for my kind of anxious brain is not very much.
The solution is the same for my work problems, however.
Day by fucking day.
I’m refraining from interconnecting Jiu-Jitsu and money going forward because my goal for the next few months is to re-establish my online business to the point where any money I earn from private lessons/DVD sales/competitions is merely extra dinner date/travel money.
My goal with my training in Austin is to focus on becoming as good as possible and to become the best Jiu-Jitsu athlete that I can be for this year’s ADCC cycle.
Part of the reason I chose training at B-Team is because of how positively I feel that training there has impacted my wrestling and standup game — the part of Jiu-Jitsu that is most important for the ADCC ruleset.
I’ve trained in Austin many times — a few days, a week, or a few weeks here or there — and every time I’ve left, I’ve thought about how “if I stayed longer, I’d learn more and become even better”. I always felt like my game was reaching new heights in that training room and that I was learning a lot — fast.
My goal with training will be to do the competition sessions every day at B-Team, and then to do my normal strength training and conditioning routine outside of the gym, and also do a few extra drilling/wrestling sessions as well.
It’s going to be a bit of “monk mode” for a while — just training and working on writing projects — but that’s what I expected this move to be anyway.
I won’t be able to afford a lot of messing around, especially in the early days of my move. I mean this both financially and due to the heavy competition schedule that I have coming up, with potentially 4 competitions and 3 seminars over the next 8 weeks.
Training at the B-Team is very competitive and requires me to either grow or drown, and I’m very excited about what that challenge will do for me as an athlete.
At the very least, it will give me a bunch of new stuff to write about.
“The bird fights its way out of the egg.”— Herman Hesse, Demian