Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
-Theodore Roosevelt

How easy it is to become consumed by life. Although each of us may never experience the same struggle, we all struggle with something. As a father of three energy-demanding beings, who devour my attention as quickly as their on-the-hour demand for food, my time bank is often in a deficit. Being a parent comes with the cost of sacrifice. But so does any endeavor—pursuing a degree, being a responsible employee, sustaining a healthy relationship—even owning a gold fish demands something of us.

And so we learn to understand. We begin to recognize that whatever we lend our focus to will receive the greatest investment of our time, energy, and resources. Unfortunately, not everything we focus on deserves the investment we sow. Our focus and our attention need to be protected and valued.

One man’s mountain is another man’s vantage point. Balancing time and managing priority looks different from one individual to the next. When it comes to training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, typically the more time spent on the mat drilling, refining technique, and rolling with a variety of partners, the higher the level of proficiency. Most of the time, what you put in is what you get out.

Therefore, the goal of a Jiu Jitsu practitioner becomes striving to get in enough training to continue to progress and evolve alongside their peers. In an ideal world of BJJ you could train everyday, multiple times a day, teach private lessons, take naps, get stronger, and fuel your body with the most nutritious “good eats” available, all after getting a massage. But maybe you’re not Gordon Ryan.

For the rest of us “hobbyists” or competitors alike who have yet to make their ADCC absolute division debut, the balancing game has to be on point. This is why on Wednesday and Friday mornings when the clock kicks over from 3:59 a.m. to four double zero, my alarm tells me its “Go time!”

Do I like shucking the warmth provided by my nest of layered blankets, or stepping into an icy blast of water as I prep for training? Maybe. But more importantly this is what works for me. This is how I can balance work, being a husband, a father, and other obligations and still get in my fix for the grappling art.

DBA Zombie Crew, what a blessing! What a privilege to be part of a community, where united by passion a group of morning warriors can gather and train despite “the everything else.”

Maybe you’re like us, and lunchtime rolls and evening classes get forfeited to homework, work shifts, long commutes, or other daily stressors. Or maybe you’re hungry for more, that extra class, trying to maximize any opportunity to train. You are welcome, wanted, and invited… But be forewarned “Zombie Crew” is not indicative of the way we move in the morning.

In the words of purple-belt Steve Brown, “That 4:30 a.m. alarm is hard sometimes, but when I get to the academy and grind my morning out with these warriors, it’s therapy and a mental recharge. It’s living in the moment with full attention to every movement, every breath and detail within the exchange. These warriors take you to the brink of exhaustion and push you through micro-deaths and fight or flight situations that leave you so incredibly grateful. All of this before six a.m., before coffee, before you get the kids up for school and kiss your wife while getting ready for work.

Wednesday and Friday at 0500, five a.m. for you non-military types. Get some!