1. A model of excellence or perfection; one having no equal
The above definition comes straight from the keytag that I received from enrolling in Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on Monday. While not there yet, from absorbing all of the attitudes from the academy, it seems like the students there are pursuing the vision of what it means to be a paragon of something – whether it be perseverance, strength, or any virtue that the students hold in high regard. This vision is not attained alone, however; the students are all so willing to help newcomers, such as myself, get better. And this perspective on improving and how to go about it has given me pause to think about my spiritual life. I guess for a while I adopted the notion that growing by myself and then bringing that new-and-improved me to the Church would be the best way to do it. However, from just going to one class, it really struck me how cooperative the other students at Paragon BJJ Academy are, and if they call themselves a family there, how much more so should we act as a family in the Body of Christ?
Another thing I learned was just how weak I was. The warmup workout alone stole the wind out of my lungs and I was already drenched in a heavy sweat after. I learned three moves and practiced them on Franjinha, the founder of the academy, and was grateful for the experience to learn directly from him. However, during the learning of the moves, I realized that there were so many things that I’m still doing wrong despite his encouragements, and it just really humbled me knowing that I have such small knowledge of what to do. When I was changing, I was just thinking about how so many things of the sport are still so foreign to me. But it didn’t suffocate my interest; it rather fed into it so much so that I had to pray about not idolizing the sport.
Patience, strength, and perseverance. As long as I can continue to put myself into bettering myself at BJJ, I have little doubt that there was a reason God led me to take the leap of, and for, faith in participating in it.