Turn A Weakness Into Strength; Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

It dawned on me this morning as I was driving home from crossfit, that we humans are conditioned to look at our character defects as weaknesses. Holy crap, I clearly haven’t recovered yet, as that was one helluva run-on sentence. Anyway- character defects… right! No, I’m not saying I’m going to take my bad grammar and turn myself into novelist (however, I am publishing a book later this year. more of an adventure story as opposed to a novel, mmmm kay!).

What I am saying, is that we tend to look at our downfalls as more of a prison sentence, opposed to an opportunity for change and excelling. Let me explain-

You see, I grew up a good girl. All the way up until my senior year of high school, I was an angel. I’m talking ASB President, “most likely to succeed” award, played percussion in a Christian Rock Band, started the first girls golf team, played basketball, cheerleader… I was THE definition of ‘perfect kid’. Then, I discovered speed when I was 17, and boy oh BOY did I fly off the rails. I kept doing it because I lost a bunch of weight. Not that I was ever a ‘fat’ kid, but as a majority of young girls do, I was unhappy with my body because I wasn’t looking like a Calvin Klien, Kate-Moss crackhead-skinny poster child. For your enjoyment, I’ve inserted a few photos with a common look of mine when loaded:

Kortney Olson

After spending a year of battling with that demon, I moved onto finding alcohol, and replacing speed for getting hammered (along with diet pills, back when ephedra was still legal…) ((I’m from the US, obviously, LOL!)). After spending 2.5 years in a blackout, pissing on the hood of cop cars and getting in as many bar fights as a 19 year old girl possibly could, I got back on speed again, but this time combined it with the booze! After turning the legal drinking age of 21, I decided it wasn’t the life I should be living, and better get back on track to become the first female president of the united states.

$30,000 later, and 28 days in a top rehab, I was good as new. 90 days later, I went back to thinking I was normal, and tried ‘drinking like a lady’ yet once again. Fast forward another 8 years, and we’re talking: HOLY SHIT, HOW AM I NOT DEAD?! “normal” people don’t have blackouts, let alone have to think about “ok… tonight I’m going to drink like a lady… and absolutely NO fights!”.

Towards the end of my using escapade, I found myself even hooked on pain pills… because after all, THAT- ladies and gentlemen, wasn’t my problem.

It’s been nearly 3 years since I took my last narcotic pain pill, and 3.5 years without a drop of alcohol. 6 without touching speed. I am without a doubt, yet again, the perfect definition of “addict”. Normally, most people shy away from copping to the label. It seems like a social stigma to them. Probably doesn’t help that a lot of parent’s will tell their children, “NO! You are NOT an addict/alcoholic… I didn’t raise you that way!” lol-. Well, sorry Mom and Dad, DA-NILE (denial) isn’t a river in Egypt. But the good news is, it’s not just learned behaviour, addiction is arguably also a genetic disposition. Science still can’t make it’s mind up.

Addiction can manifest in many ways folks. Whether it be the over-eater, or the shopaholic. You know, the type that buys 3 or 4 pairs of the same pair of flip flops because they were on sale… best stock up at that price! OR maybe it’s the gambler. Maybe it’s the mate you have who can’t stop getting strange, and hooks up with anything that has a hole. The “ladies man”, right?

For me, I embrace my character defects. I embrace my so-called weaknesses. Addiction never goes away. It is never cured. But it can however, be put to rest. Instead of getting down about never being able to go out and get hammered, pack on excess calories, do stupid shit, wreck motorcycles, sleep with random strange in a blackout, act like a dick, send drunk texts, and hurt peoples feelings, I focus on the good things about being an addict (alcoholic.. whatever you want to call it. it’s all the same to me).

I took my ‘character defects’, and got addicted to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Crossfit. Sure, I’m a bit over the top with my training, and don’t know when to stop. Kinda like how it was with my drinking! I’m happier than a pig in shit: the fact that I sometimes might have a false sense of pride, and think I can take on anyone who tries to harm me or my family and friends. I’ve taken my obsessive-compulsive habits, and spilled them out into my physical activity. So if you feel like you have a weakness, don’t think it’s a bad thing. First, you must retrain your brain, and verbally tell yourself that you are in fact special. You are going to take those traits and turn them into something unique and epic.

You are going to stop listening to the voices in your head that quietly whisper you aren’t good enough. that you aren’t going to make it. Here below are some steps that I have put together that have helped me:

1. become aware. you must first become aware of your defects, or bad habits. also become aware of whether or not you have negative self talk in your head. if you don’t, I’d like to meet you-
2. know thyself. WRITE ABOUT IT! even if it’s a chicken scratch list on the back of a receipt, write stuff down. if you ‘think it, ink it’. that way you have a better chance of remembering it, and are somewhat committing to doing something active about changing it. what qualities do you like about yourself? what qualities and habits do you want to change?
3. turn the F’in TV off! you’ll never get to know yourself if you are living your life by watching others. Even those friends who are constantly involved in drama, can easily suck you into their crap. again, spend time working on yourself. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything-
4. verbally tell yourself what’s up. talk out loud. look in the mirror. and say, “right- look here mate- I’m runnin the show now. I am making the choice to take my ‘weaknesses’ and turn them into strengths. I CHOOSE NOT TO BE A VICTIM. repeat, “I CHOOSE NOT TO BE A VICTIM”
5. then go be a boss- enjoy your life. process your feelings. don’t live up to social norms. if you’re a dude, it’s OK to talk about your problems, and/or cry. that shit is hot! if you’re a lady, it’s OK to lift weights! you don’t need to “act like a lady”, and be afraid of ‘bulking up’. believe it or not, despite what the mainstream media will tell you, people appreciate strength and a woman with muscles. stay away from steroids and you’ll never have a problem.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Crossfit are way cooler addictions than smokin crack, kids! hahaha! If you don’t have the ability to laugh at yourself, what’s the point of life? If you have a friend or family member that you think might be struggling with an addiction of some sort, send them this link. Remind them that it’s OK to accept the fact. There is nothing wrong with them. If every single one of us started being truthful to ourselves, and the rest of those around us, there would be no need for fronts and pretending to be people who we really aren’t. BE LOUD AND PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE! and if you’re needing an extra boost in Konfidence, get your ass to your local Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy or Crossfit box (gym). Also, have a peek at these for some examples of top places:

http://www.howweroll.com.au
http://www.crossfitescape.com
http://www.axisjj.com.au

Article By: Kortney Olson
Images copyright: Tigger Photography Sourced from: www.konfidencebykortney.com


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