Melissa Bentley Reflections

Reflections on a jiu jitsu journey

Melissa Bentley

I’ve been doing some reflecting over the last couple of days and wanted to share some thoughts.

I’ve been struggling this year with having a good mindset for competition. I’ve been beating myself up because I have felt for the last 8 years or so I’ve put high priority on jiujitsu and as I’m watching my kids grow up I’ve felt very guilty for putting so much focus on this beautiful sport.

I’ve felt that the money and time has taken away things we could have done as a family but instead was focused on me. That guilt was very strong this year and yet my family has never said anything. Nothing. They have supported me in whatever I want to do. I get complaints every now and then because I drag my boys to the gym when they would rather hang with their friends at home but it’s been pretty mild.

I’ve struggled with losing my spark for competition, the feeling of it being stressful instead of fun. Going from many successful years of competing to struggling to get to the top of the podium.
I’ve struggled with the oh so many things life wants to throw at you to get you off track and pretty much letting those things block my goals.

I almost didn’t compete at Master worlds this year. I decided last minute to do so. Pretty much the only reason I signed up this year was that I had two very specific people who never asked me if I was going but it was expected. They have no idea that they are the reason. I felt that I had to because it is expected of me and I had to represent myself and my team.

This trip was a hard one…. with many roadblocks slapping me in the face, travel problems, family emergencies, confidence issues etc.. but I went there and did it.

The saying of “you either win or you learn” in jiujitsu is not just about fixing your mistakes within the sport but with everything. Learning how to balance everything around you and fixing mistakes and growing in life. I’m still learning as we all are and that will continue forever.

I was obviously disappointed after my loss ( I am an extremely competitive person in general) but I am proud that I was there. I’m proud that I made it through. I’m proud of my game and how it’s evolving and I’m proud of myself for not giving up. I’m excited for the future and learning how to manage and balance everything I love because it can be done!

P.s thank you to the two people for your expectations and how you unknowingly helped me not pass up the opportunity!

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