Gerome used jiu jitsu to battle depression and lost 100 pounds in the process. He is an inspiration for us all. Set a goal and get inspired !
JJCHMYLIFE : Hello Gerome, how and when did you start in BJJ ?
Gerome : I started Jiujitsu April 2005. I was watching pride fc and I was very intrigued. My favorite fighter to watch was Ricardo Arona and he was fighting under the BTT banner. So I googled it and luckily, they have a local BTT gym close by in long beach. That was the beginning of everything.
JJCHMYLIFE: Did you feel any benefits right away ?
Gerome : In the beginning, it was difficult for me. Coming from a football background where we can use speed and strength to overcome our opponents. Jiujitsu was much different. Never felt so confused and helpless when someone 100lbs lighter than me can hold me down and submit me at will. I was thinking I'll be moving like arona after the first week of training. I had two options, quit or stay. I chosed to stay. Made me humble and made me hungry to learn. 10 years later, I'm still learning. It's a never ending learning process. I benefited from the learning aspect of jiujitsu and of course the physical conditioning of the art.
JJCHMYLIFE : What is your daily routine ?
Gerome :Before, I had in a bad marriage for 6 years. I gained a lot of weight from over working and stress. I went up to 315lbs. I still did Jiujitsu to displace stress and to meet my brothers(teammates). It was my escape. Then I got a divorce and I got more depressed. Then I work up one day that Jiujitsu is the one will save my life and I dedicated my life on getting better in Jiujitsu and Jiujitsu will get my life better as it comes. I started competing 2014 at ultra heavy division. Did really well, each tournament I lose 20lbs from training hard and eating right. Winning and losing weight is more addicting than drugs for sure. I was so dedicated and focused, I wake up at 4am every morning, do 1hr fasten cardio the 15 min sauna. Then I have my breakfast then go to work. After I get off work at 3pm, I go straight to BTToc to do cardio kickboxing at 4pm for an hour. Then Jiujitsu right after from 5-7:30. Then I go home, have dinner then go straight to the gym to lift weights. People think I'm crazy and over doing it. I don't know where I get the energy from, but my focus and determination was unbelievably strong.
JJCHMYLIFE : How Jiu Jitsu Changed your Life ?
Gerome :Jiu jitsu did not just changed my life. Jiujitsu saved my life. I was so depressed from my failed marriage that I considering committing suicide. I was admitted for depression. But my Jiu jitsu brothers were always there for me, always tried to bring me in to train. So I started training, realized the more I train, the better I feel. So I trained more, and more to the point that I feel amazing. It took all my stress away and cleaned my mind from all the negativity was holding me down.
JJCHMYLIFE : Leave a message for all fellow BJJ practitioners and for those who are considering start practicing
Gerome :I highly recommend to everyone to take up Jiujitsu. It's a hobby that has benefits that will change or save your life for the better. You will a brotherhood that you won't find anywhere in different sport. You'll expand your network not just nation wide, but across the globe. Most importantly, Jiujitsu will help you chose a healthy way of life. It encourage to eat healthier and workout more. So in the end, Jiujitsu will help you have a healthier mind and body.