2020 was tough for everybody around the world! As a BJJ coach, practitioner and Personal Trainer based in Melbourne 10 months of lock down absolutely put the life I knew on hold. This being said in the face of great adversity come great opportunity. I very fortunately got a job moving furniture at Man with a Van which enabled me to pay the rent.
There was something else that grew in the absence of my normal life, space. The pandemic gave me room to be able to write the book that had been bouncing around in my head for almost 2 years. I had started putting down the bones of the characters in an old exercise book back in 2018 and when I travelled to the U.S.A in September of 2019 I was writing character back stories, plot lines, conflicts, relationships and ultimately all the precursors for the plot.
When we got back after a month in America I wanted to write the JiuGo book but just didn’t take action. The story was still growing in my subconscious. Finally I started to plan the story’s dramatic ebb and flow. Funnily enough I periodised it. Almost as if I was training JiuGo the protagonist up for his various battles physically and mentally over Time I spaced the dramatic high points out over the course of 6-12 months with each high point followed by a low or regression in dramatic tension to give the little guy a break.
This is the same approach I would take in terms of programming strength training for myself or a client, make sure they are strong enough to take on the challenge of learning Jiu-jitsu or fighting the bully.
It was a big effort but I will be honest the words poured out. The story of JiuGo is semi-autobiographical, I was a bullied kid and I know how that feels being abused daily with no power to stand up for yourself. Finding Martial arts and self defence changed my life and really steered me in another direction.
Writing this story really was not hard to do but fitting time to actually physically write in around a physically stressful job was a real challenge. 3-4 mornings a week I would wake up at 4am and write for 2 hours before heading to work. Then if it was too taxing a day and I had some head space left I would write for another hour or 2 at night.
Some days I was a complete write off and could function and my Beautiful partner saved me by cooking for me and putting me to bed. Ultimately I came out of 2020 with 120,000 words and a true sense of achievement. I told myself if there is anything good that could come out of Covid it would be that I actually wrote a book. As it turns out 2 books but more on that next time, because as you may or may not know writing the story is only half the job.
Next stop Lets get an editor!