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How Training Jiu Jitsu Changed My Body and My Mind

The first picture is of me last year (2020) around November or so. I was depressed, confused and life was lonely. You can see it on my face, there's no emotion... I was living in Poland, just moved out of my Grandma's house, she's super religious and obsessive (but lovely lady though), I needed to change, I knew it deep down, otherwise I'd end up somewhere dark. The second photo is 2021 some time in March. I'm now living in Portugal, have lovely friends, I live in an incredible place with cute little Cafe' s, lots of nature all around, and plenty of free time to do as I wish. It was a fast transition... but how? Because of my experience. I've experienced darkness - as dark as shit gets. When I moved to Poland some time in late July I knew I was going down, I knew the depression was coming, I let it, I let it get real deep. And once I hit 'literally' rock bottom (living with Grandma, no money, no social life - just my Grandma's piegories and getting to pet the cat from time to time) then I knew it was time to get back up. I don't really know why I let myself go so much, I think at the time I wanted to experiement with how far it could go - the depression and all. I still remember I filmed a video on that day, my eyes were tired from sleepless nights, my energy was gone, my voice was forced - shitttttt... Anyways, let's move on. I moved out of my Grandma's house, I had saved up enough to rent a shitty little room in a bigger city nearby, lived with 4 other people, it wasn't so bad, there was one guy that kept on offering me beers and shit, and asking me if I wanted to eat a Kebab with him, and I did, he was super chill, we even ended up eating a pizza together and watching some MANLY movie together, he became my best friend at the time. The landlord was pretty shitty though but later on that. Anyways I started to workout almost everyday, I clarified what I wanted and how I was going to get it - considering what type of lifestyle I wanted to live. Now that I was away from my Grandparents I had lots of free mental space - so I occupied it with 50s movies and learning new stuff. I would go out to the city from time to time to chat up people, just so that I could get my social flow back - it was tough though, I couldn't really make any friends - also the Covid situation didn't make it easier. After a few months I moved to Krakow, my landlord - a good guy, but also a dick, didn't give me my deposit -only 200 bucks - but to me that was quite a lot. I moved to Krakow on a budget, found a cheap room in the center, a 13 by 7 foot room or something like that, with the window facing a brick building. I spent the cold Autum nights in the city of Krakow, thankfully I made some good friends who'd I'd go out with for coffee and long chats, we'd occasionally chat up girls - but I didn't need sex at the time, I wanted passion and some intimacy. I joined a jiu Jitsu gym sometime in November, I was scared to even go in because of my anxiety, but thankfully because of a friend I made it. I fell in love the first day. jiu Jitsu was so intimate, and the people there were so passionate that I felt like I was fulfilled. I spend the next month or so going in regularly and training. At first it was tough, but over time I got better and made some really good friends. That's where the change started. The winter nights were nearing by though, and even though I had gotten my sh*t together, I was still a bit off, the clouds loomed ahead, the cold air made you stay inside, shops closed up, people vanished, and the gym was going to close, I decided it was time to go. I bought a ticket to Portugal, I found a work and travel program somewhere near Lisbon, it was my chance to change things. I took it, flew out on the first of January, and made it to Lisbon after 4 hours on the flight with some Polish kids kicking my chair and yelling at their stupid ass video game, but that's just life. For the past 3 months I've been living in a new environemnt, with different faces and different personalities, in a place where the birds get up to party at exactly 5 am, and the kids scream their faces off at 7:30 am. I'm sorounded by inspiring and positive people, with kind hearts and a willingness to grow. There's still ups and downs, rules and regulations, but I've been training consistently - learning new techniques and getting stronger - mentally and physically. I have a friend whose as motivated as I am to get better - and we keep eachother on track. I know it might be a bit insignificant, but Jiu Jitsu definitely changed my attitude towards life - now I live it with more passion and energy - and it's mainly because the people I met in Poland, and here, who practiced Jiu Jitsu had an uplifting and a self-willed attitude towards life - I had unconsciously taken a part of their attitude into my own-self, and because of it I am much better off now. There's so much more that I could say about this whole experience, but I'll leave it for another time. :)


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