“Love is patient, love is kind.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.”
Some people have asked why my husband doesn’t train in the regular Jiu-Jitsu classes with me. Joe and I had already been training Karate together for several years before I started Jiu-Jitsu, and after it became obvious that my interest in Jiu-Jitsu was not a passing thing, he expressed a desire to try it out as well, but I asked him not to. My reason was up until that point in my training I didn’t feel like an individual, I was simply one of “The Ethridges”. I wanted to step outside the comfort zone of training with my family, and do something on my own.
Joe might’ve had mixed feelings about it at first, but he did as I asked, and stayed away. This allowed me to grow and challenge myself in new ways. I couldn’t just hide in my husband’s shadow to avoid interacting with others. Some days I really wanted to ask him to go to class with me so that I would have someone I felt comfortable with, but I knew I had to do it by myself. He did attend a class here and there, but Joe and I mostly shared Jiu-Jitsu at home, not at the dojo.
Now almost four years later, I feel as though I have found my place, and I don’t mind anymore if my husband trains Jiu-Jitsu, in fact, I want him to. Of course, after seeing all of the injuries I’ve endured in the past few years, Joe is reluctant! Since he makes his living with his body, he doesn’t want to risk being forced to miss work. So, now he just trains with me in “Ethridge class”. It’s kind of the best of both worlds. We get to share Jiu-Jitsu, but I also get to do it on my own.
I appreciate Joe being patient with me, and waiting until I was ready for him to join me in Jiu-Jitsu. When people would ask him why he didn’t train, he would say “I have to let Gina get some knowledge first, so I don’t destroy her!” but the real reason was because he loved me enough to let me do it without him.