I think everyone goes through phases in their life where they really reflect on what they are doing. Everyone has dreams. Not everyone gets to pursue them. Life really does get in the way. I feel more blessed right now than I ever have in my life, because I finally get to pursue my dream. In 10 days, I’m getting on a plane and moving to Rio de Janeiro for a few months. I’m going to see the sights, play on the beach, and most of all I’ll be training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu every single day.

I’m not getting paid to do it (and I can’t imagine anyone would want to pay me to at my skill level), so it’s not really my job but I am making it my priority. In fact, I’m paying to do it. That’s right, I’m paying to fly to another country in which I don’t speak the language and have no experience in, to basically get choked and beat up every day. Anyone who knows me can already tell I’m a little off my rocker, but if ever needed in the future I’ll have these blog posts to prove my insanity at trial. (Disclaimer: This is a joke; I’m not really insane and have no malicious intentions. Please don’t stop reading.)

So it’s all hit me at once. I’ve been planning this for months, but it wasn’t real until I finished booking my accommodations with Dennis Asche from Connection Rio. By the way, if you’re looking to travel down to Rio de Janeiro to train or even just vacation this is definitely someone you should get in touch with. I really owe him a huge shout out for helping me make a dream come true. There will be more about him and the house I’m staying at in future posts.

Back on topic though, when I finished the accommodation booking and ordered my plane ticket, it all became real. I sat there and thought to myself “Wow, I’m doing this. No matter what happens to me for the rest of my life, I can honestly say that I took a shot at it. I’m doing what I want to do.” I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but I’ve never quite had the feeling of accomplishment that I had at that moment. Hopefully I make the most of this, and can move on with other plans I have for my future.

I didn’t make the blog public for awhile. There are some older posts about my time I’ve spent in my hometown. I have mainly been writing to get in the habit as well as work on my web design and have some content available before I made the blog public. I haven’t had an entire chance to talk about some of the people helping me in my quest (such as Dennis above), so I’d like to do that now.

A big theme in the past posts was my time spent at Core Combat Sports, but I haven’t had a chance to really write about the gym itself. I have to first off thank Tommy Woodruff and the whole Core Combat Sports crew. I kind of came in there with the prospect of only staying for a month or two, and they took me in regardless of how long I’d be around and made me feel like one of the family. It’s a really technical school, the instruction is great, and everyone in the gym is absolutely awesome. There are no egos, and everyone is there to help. I will definitely be back there when I come back in the country. If anyone is in the Rockford area and interested in learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or any martial art, definitely give them a try. You won’t be disappointed. You can find their website in the “friends” section of the website.

So now I sit here, packing my belongings, and just anticipating the ride. Yes, I said I’m packing 10 days early, laugh all you want! I have one last thing to do tomorrow which is head to the Brazilian Consulate in downtown Chicago to apply for my visa, and then I’m set. I will write about this process more in the next blog as traveling to Brazil is a little different than going to say Mexico, and I think it may be of some help to some of the blog readers in the future. Other than that, the blog is now public, and I’ve gotten a great response so far. Hopefully I can entertain some of you out there at least a little bit. The adventure is just beginning, and I couldn’t be more excited. More to come later this week.


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