I have always been a sweater
I have always been a sweater. Since the tender time of puberty, I have spent a fortune on deodorant and have been as self-conscious as hell. It has put me off doing things that others take for granted and makes social situations embarrassingly uncomfortable.
So, when a good friend of mine persistently tried to talk me into trying jiu jitsu I was wary. Intimidated in fact.
What he was saying was:
“come try this great sport, it’s fun and will get you fit”
But what I was hearing was:
“would you like to embarrass yourself in a room full of athletes.”
Instead of imagining the positives I was completely fixated on the negatives. I would be the sweatiest guy in the room. I would be the least fit person in the room. I would struggle with the basics and look like an idiot. I would be sweating all over people and grossing them out. Nobody would want to train with me because my Gi would be soaking wet and I would be dripping like a tap the whole time.
I asked questions like:
“can I bring a towel?”
“is it common to have to change gi half way through training?”
“will I cause a hazard on the mats by sweating so much and leaving puddles of water?”
I confided in my friend, told him my fears. He assured me everyone sweats on the mats. It’s a physical thing. Its normal to sweat. He didn’t understand though. How could anyone sweat as much as me? I would be the sweatiest dude in the room and it would be terribly embarrassing.
I was put off for weeks, months. But, like a good friend he persisted, gently nudging me towards trying it. Just trying it once.
So, I finally cracked and went along for a trial lesson. Social anxiety saw to it that I was sweating before I even got in the building but I managed to push through it. Got changed and joined the rest of the class for the warm up. It only lasted 5 minutes but it was enough to get me boiling hot, sweating hard and the class had only just begun. I was wiping my head with my gi sleeve every thirty seconds. However, no one was noticing. Everyone was focusing on the professor. Taking instructions then working the technique shown. My training partner didn’t notice or if he did he didn’t mention it. I carried on working and sweating and wiping my face regularly and no one seemed to care at all.
Then after we had trained for a while the upper belts started rolling. Me andmy partner kept working together along with the white belts and I saw everyone was sweating. Some more than others. But it was hot. We were working hard. It was natural.
At the end of the class we all lined up to bow out. That’s when I first saw it. The upper belts had rolled for about 20 minutes. They weren’t just sweating. They were glowing red. Everyone was soaked. It was like they had been rolling in the shower. I left the class still sweating. But not alone.
Fast forward 6 months. I have rolled with most of the guys in the class. I have sweated on and been sweated on by the nicest guys and girls and the most athletic people I have ever met. I am never the sweatiest guy in the room. Not once. It’s my goal to be though. Cos, I know those are the guys who are working the hardest.
TL:DR sweating is good. Sweat makes stripes.