Veronica Chmiel

How long have you been training?

5 years

Why did you begin training?

I brought my son in looking to get him exposed to an art which encourages discipline, better focus, self defense knowledge, consistent movement, community, and helps build confidence. I was given a pair of pajamas (a gi) and encouraged to take a class, and I got bitten by the jiu jitsu bug.

What encourages you the most about your practice?

Jiu jitsu is a puzzle never completed, the picture is always changing. One thing that is guaranteed in life is change. One must be willing to improvise, adapt, and overcome. Once you learn to stop fighting the change and let go, that’s when we truly start to flow!

What challenges you the most?

My memory is not what it was when I was younger. I’ve had a few concussions, not from jiu jitsu. Post COVID, I have experienced breathing changes, asthma type stuff. It hurts my ego and frustrates me not to be able to perform to my pre-COVID level. I can be hard on myself. And as a blue belt, I felt at my peak. I would do 8-9 rounds and still have enough cardio to keep going. It was exciting to consider where my jiu jitsu might take me. But life happens, and we all need to roll with the punches.

How have you evolved as a result of it?

I learn to turn off that inner voice that doesn’t speak as kindly, modify when needed, and keep showing up knowing that I am getting 1% better every time I do!

What is something that you learned about BJJ that was unexpected?

It is a small community! There are people all over the world who practice this art. And for the most part, jiu jitsu practitioners are the most generous souls out there. They will invite you to stay at their homes, use their cars, and share this wonderful art with you. I have met people of all ages, all types of back grounds, but on the mats we are all the same.

Any notable accomplishments, interests or facts you’d like to share?

I’m just trying to be the best version of myself possible. I enjoy coaching the kids, but I always say I’m not here just to teach jiu jitsu. I’m here to help raise up our future generations to be kind and happy souls that add to our world. It takes a village to raise a child. I’m thankful to be part of this village. Oh and I see hearts, everywhere. πŸ«ΆπŸ»πŸ€™πŸΌ