As two white belts were about to roll during the beginner BJJ class last Thursday, I heard the older one ask the younger one his age, and he answered “22”. The older one looked at me, as if for sympathy, and I laughed and said “What? You only have 25 years on him!”. You will not get any sympathy from me, Mr. Manly Man!
The youngest person currently training in the adult classes at Lincoln BJJ is 13, and the oldest is 50 (that’s not me, I’m only 44!). However, I have noticed that there seem to be an unusually high number of people who I either currently train with, or have trained with in the past, who are exactly 31 years old. What is up with that? If I’ve done my math correctly (and I probably haven’t, because math blows), that means a lot of people who were born in 1982 seem to enjoy Jiu-Jitsu. Coincidentally (or not?!) “Eye of the Tiger” was released in 1982. I was 13 back then, and I had no idea that a bunch of babies who were being born that year, and even more who hadn’t been conceived yet, would someday be kicking my ass!
Thanks to the aforementioned 47 year-old white belt, I believe am now the 3rd (instead of the 2nd) oldest person training at Lincoln BJJ Center! But the truth is, I really don’t think about that, especially not while I’m rolling, I don’t want to know how much younger my grappling partners are. Sometimes I joke about being old, but most of the time I don’t think of myself that way (but maybe I’m just in denial ;). When I do mention the fact that I’m older than the majority of people I roll with, it just makes me feel like I’m making excuses for why I suck. The same thing goes for when I talk about the fact that I am a woman who rolls mostly with men.
Do I wish I had started training BJJ when I was 22? Oh, hell yeah! But I didn’t, and I’m not going to let a number get inside my head and convince me that I can’t do anything now. Maybe I am old, but I rarely “act my age”.
“It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival…” -Survivor