His shoulder is crushing my face.

His weight on top of me is squeezing the life out of me.

His gi is smothering me, and the only breath I can take is tiny sips every couple of seconds.

I’m running out of oxygen.

He reaches his arm under my head. He places his forearm across my throat, slowly.

This is a submission I can easily defend, but I choose not to.

I let the forearm slide across my throat to give me an excuse to end my ordeal.

I tap. It’s over.

That’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

It’s hard, tiring, and you lose a lot.

Whether you understand the story doesn’t really matter, but the bit you need to understand is this:

I gave up when I didn’t need to.

I gave up too early. I gave up when I wasn’t in immediate danger. I was losing the fight against a much more skilled opponent, he put me in an uncomfortable position and I chose the easy way out.

I shouldn’t have been surprised: BJJ (how I’ll call it from now on) is all about being uncomfortable. That’s how you win (or lose).

BJJ is a perfect allegory of life.

You learn the most when you find yourself in an uncomfortable position. When you’re sweating and struggling to survive. Those are the lessons you don’t forget in a hurry.

Try to put yourself in uncomfortable positions more often.

Don’t stick to what you know, try new things.

Push at the edges.

Being uncomfortable is where you learn things.

After our fight where I gave up, he gave me some advice.

Hang on for 5 seconds longer. Then keep telling yourself that every 5 seconds.

BJJ is a perfect allegory of life.