This weekend was full of surprises!

Last Tuesday, I started developing symptoms of COVID-19 and I immediately became incredibly angry. Not only was I forced to postpone my trip home to see my family, which I've been excited about for months (I haven't seen them since Christmas!), but I also knew that I would have to miss an important class at my gym on Saturday morning. Professor Daniel Wanderley was making a trip from Wisconsin to teach a special two-hour Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, something that typically only happens once a year. I was devastated.

Lucky for me, my coach allowed me to watch the class via Zoom. I was THRILLED! Whenever Professor Wanderley comes to town, it means that people at the gym will be receiving belt promotions, which is a big deal. I really didn't want to miss seeing my teammates move up the ladder, so I was excited when the laptop that I was on was placed up at the front of the class. I thought that was done so that I could see all the action, but it turns out there was another motive.

After watching a few of my very deserving teammates get their blue belts, I was awarded with mine. I couldn't BELIEVE it! I didn't know that it was possible to get a belt promotion virtually, but I guess these are the times we are currently living in. It was such a wonderful surprise that I broke down into tears. After a terrible week full of terrible news, I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that I cried over and over all day long. I might be the only person to ever be diagnosed with coronavirus and given a blue belt in the same day!

Jiu Jitsu has been a big part of my life these past few years. When I started back in November of 2017, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Nobody, not even me, thought I would last the week, but here I am almost three years later. Not only has it made me stronger, but it's given me confidence, it's significantly helped my anxiety, and it's given me a family of wonderful people that I probably would've never met otherwise. I have many years of Jiu Jitsu ahead of me and I can't wait to see where this journey takes me!

Courtlin