Please read and share your story. This is deep.
Before I get to the part which is MMA related, I would like to give you some background information on myself so you can understand the level & depth of emotion involved.
I am 29 years old, work full time, go to school part time, and recently began training in MMA 3 times per week. This is my life.....nothing more.
I am the youngest of 4 boys and when I was living at home, I was content with my life. I was doing all the right things; working, going to school, & paying for my own expenses. My mom was always proud of me for these reasons so I thought I was headed in the right direction. After all, my mom was my moral guide throughout my life and an enormous influence on a lot of the choices I made (as are most moms).
I was 24 the first time I moved out of my mom's house. I moved in with some friends simply because I wanted the independence that comes with living away from home. I was enrolled in college part time and was working full time. As time passed, I started realizing that I was not where I wanted to be in life. Before I discovered MMA, I had an idea of what I wanted but I lacked the initiative to do anything about it. It was just a dream to me and truthfully, it wasn't even logical. My heart was in some unknown place.
I am short tempered and moody at times and anyone who knows me would be in complete agreeance. I always wondered what was wrong with me and thought about the irony of the fact that I was in school for psychology and couldn't figure it out. I was frustrated with life in general. My life is very routine (which I kind of like). On the other hand, my life is boring, I need more friends, I hate my job, I'm drowning in bills, etc. These things sound normal but it's a trickle down effect that leads to the most petty things imaginable. I knew it was wasted energy but I never changed. I felt like I was on a roller coaster.
My mom suddenly and unexpectedly died 2 years ago and although I knew she was proud of me, I still had regrets. This was the time I started thinking about how I could've been a better son. I didn't think I'd be able to pull through. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I wasn't afraid of anything happening anymore because I didn't care. Since it was so sudden, I started worrying about my brothers and how I can lose them too. I was a zombie and the only thing that kept me going was time that I couldn't stop. However, my life & my emotions eventually went back to normal considering the circumstances. (This is all relevant to my point).
I have been a fan of MMA for a while now and about 3 months ago, I had a sudden and unexplained urge to start doing it myself. A couple of situations occurred that I accepted as signs that lead to my epiphany and decision to pursue it. And so I did. I started a couple of weeks ago. The anticipation leading up to my first day was overwhelming. I was nervous, scared, anxious, & excited all at once. I realized that this is what I should be doing. All of my past 'normal' problems that I mentioned (with the exception of my mom's death) became meaningless non-sense to me. I knew once I started that I would become my ideal self and realize what is most important in life.
When I started, it was not what I expected. It was rough and I felt ackward because I didn't know anyone and was surrounded by people who were more experienced. After the first and second class, I felt completely discouraged. I felt depressed that things were not working out as I'd hoped but I kept telling myself..DO NOT GIVE UP! I was reading an article about MMA on my phone last night and set it down for a moment. When I picked it back up, the first sentence I read was "Even if you feel completely discouraged, do not give up." I believe that sometimes things are put in front of you as a sign and so once again, I accepted it as such.
So, I came from training just before I posted this thread and who would've thought that your first submission on your opponent can hold such power. I was improving!! Tonight I realized that not giving up was exactly what I needed. For the first time, and as crazy as it sounds, I literally felt my mom's emotions in that moment and I knew she was more proud than ever before. I finally felt like I lived up to the man she raised me to be. It was like BAM! The stars aligned and I was exactly where I was supposed to be. The 'unknown' place I found my heart was waiting for me in MMA. The feeling of dignity was indescribable. I was so happy and proud of myself that it almost made me cry and I needed to share it. I hope that anyone that reads this gets something good out of it. I truly hope that my story can serve as an inspiration to people who feel like giving up. Not just in MMA but in anything. I hope that at least 1 person that reads this gets the chance to experience what I did tonight. Especially if it's in the most f*cking awesome sport in the world! Thank you for taking the time to read this. Good night!