This is the story of SBG Athens coach Lee McMichael.
Lee felt like he was in a rut before joining SBG Athens.
A lifelong athlete active in several sports, Lee had always been in decent shape. After leaving school, however, he says that he never developed a satisfying routine. He would vacillate between being completely dedicated to a workout routine and doing the bare-minimum to stay in shape. “I was never able to find a reason to keep myself in shape,” he says, other than wanting to look good or avoid “being super-unhealthy.”
He says that he found SBG Athens due to being an MMA fan. He knew that the gym had spawned Forrest Griffin, and living nearby, he wanted to see what the gym had to offer. According to Lee, the gym has much more to offer than he would have anticipated.
Lee has found an outlet to channel his competitive drive in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Learning BJJ at the gym, Lee has found a sport that will allow him to compete for decades. “Aside from some flag football and things like that in college I think too many of us just put that kind of thing aside after high school. However, something like jiu-jitsu gives you something that you are always working on and working toward. Even if you don’t compete in jiu-jitsu you still are competing against yourself or just trying to get a little better each day.”
Not only is Lee excited to have a good reason to work out, he says that in SBG Athens, he has found a deeper sense of community. “I was a pretty aimless 25 year-old when I started my journey here at SBG,” he says. Training martial arts, and training with other martial artists has “both directly and indirectly have helped me a great deal in providing some direction and sense of purpose.” He has coached both kids and adults at SBG, becoming a staple at the gym. At SBG he has plenty of training partners, students, and teachers, but he has also made valuable personal connections. He says that the community of the SBG tribe has benefitted him greatly: “I have met many amazing people and I am luckily to call quite a few of them “friend!”
Here are three tips that Lee wants to share to potential tribemates:
- Don’t quit! Even if you can’t make it to as many classes or do as much as you want. Just keep coming back!
- Don’t take it too seriously, especially early on. Make this something you enjoy doing, not a chore that you must do!
- Talk to people! Early on I did not do a good job of putting myself out there and making connections at the gym. We are a welcoming place but the gym and its’ people can only do so much.
Do you struggle with some of the same things with which Lee struggled?
You CAN make that change and TRANSFORM your life also!
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