I'm more or less one of the "old guys" at our jiu jitsu club. I don't really feel old while I'm there though. Sometimes the talk of the latest video game or tv show might throw me off, yeah, otherwise I feel like I'm just with a group of people who share the same passion for this martial art.
If this isn't something you do, you need to understand, I spend quite some time on this mat on a regular basis - several times a week. And we're rolling, throwing and constantly trying to learn better ways to choke our partners or break each other's limbs thousands and thousands of times. And be nice about it. So yes, after a couple of years any person would become more personal with the place and it's people.
But it's like going to the skatepark or favorite dirt jump as a kid for me. I can't wait to get there, always have my gear ready. I know most of the guys feel the same, too.
Man, sometimes I gotta stop and think though... what if? What if I was younger, MUCH younger, with much less or maybe no responsibilities. Just living life a day at a time, not thinking too far ahead. I can't speak for Tony but its sure looking that way when I see him.
Tony's a solid purple belt, a total technician. He's been training and competing for several years... and now Tony's literally living on the mats. In his early 20's, college kid, on a full martial arts journey. Just enjoying every minute of his time training. I got to asking him, how's it been living at the academy?
"It's great. I try not to think about it too much because it's so awesome. I don't want to burn myself out. But it's just an amazing opportunity for me right now. Every time I walk by these mats, in the middle of night, any time, I just feel pretty lucky about it."