I am a big girl. Not like in the song “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, but a plus size woman. I am also an athlete and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When I bring up in conversation that I do Jiu Jitsu, there will always be the person who looks at me funny when I tell them that not only that I do Jiu Jitsu but that I also compete regularly. They have a hard time comprehending that someone of my stature could even do such things.
I go for regular medical checkups and everything checks out just fine. My doctor in her wonderful way told me that there are fat football players that play professionally so we can just lump me into that category. Umm thanks I guess?
When I first started doing Jiu Jitsu I was bigger than I am now, and I was so self-conscious. As an overweight, older, mom in a gym full of fit young men who (I am not kidding when I say this) could easily be calendar models I was hesitant to try techniques. I was so sure that I would like an ungraceful elephant trying to do yoga and be a spectacle. Maybe it is my maturity or just my comfort level with my team mates, but I feel my insecurities growing less and less the more that I attend class and compete. Most likely it was my professor Joe Wilk repeatedly saying over and over that “Great things never came from comfort zones.” He says that to me A LOT! I have so much more confidence now and people in my past have even commented about how much I have changed.
When I finally decided that this is me, this is who I am right now and owned myself, I began to realize I can do things.
I may not be exactly graceful at them because I can trip over imaginary lint, but I can execute them. And when losing weight getting stuck in someone’s guard who previously couldn’t close their guard around you is a whole new game for sure!
Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself currently “under construction” and I have some goals in mind for my weight and am currently working towards the goals. There are days when I feel like a stuffed sausage in my gi pants, especially when it is that lovely time of the month. Apparently, mother nature doesn’t care that that we compete in spandex pants. And occasionally when I am competing in an absolute division the scene from “Avengers” comes to my mind. The scene where Hulk is smashing Loki and calls him a “Puny God”, that’s how I feel when a much smaller opponent jumps guard and tries to use my weight against me. However, that passes very quickly.
My point of this article is this; I am not apologizing to anyone over my body size. My uniqueness is just that…. mine. Just like whatever makes you unique. Life is way too short to worry about what others think of you. Treat people with kindness and they should reciprocate, if not that is a problem of theirs.
And as far as the people who doubt that I do in fact do jiu jitsu, I always invite them to class to see for themselves. You never know…. they may be a perfect training partner!
About the author:
Kim Morris is a purple belt with Combative Sports Center in Manhattan Kan., under Joe Wilk. She has been practicing Jiu-Jitsu since November 2013.