This post is dedicated to a couple of good friends on the mat, Mike and Kim Bowser.
A little after I started rolling three years ago, a new guy showed up. Hard-working and dedicated but heavy and out of shape. I pushed him as much as I could in a positive way, trying to be a good partner and give constructive feedback when it’s asked for. Mike continues to improve and he mixes strength and technique well …
A year goes by. Mike loses 100+ lbs and is agile, strong and has the gas tank of a Cadillac. He makes me work in warm-ups, always pushing to be first. Always pushing me to be better. One of my favorite moments was watching him get his blue belt. The guy is a work-horse and soaks up the details, asks questions and loves being on the mat.
Eventually, Mike brings his wife to class. Kim is at first tentative — surrounded by the sharks, she’s quiet and reserved — but comes around. She works incredibly hard, her eyes get big every time she sees a new technique that she likes at-first-glance and she doesn’t give an inch. Together, they make a great team — always in the gym, if not on the mat then they’re working cardio, running hard and getting an edge on as many people as possible.
This past week, Mike got his first stripe on his blue belt and Kim got her second stripe on her white belt. It’s cool seeing how jiu-jitsu can bring a family together, showcase a person’s drive and determination and altogether highlight great, hard-working people.
So, to the Bowsers I tip my hat.