This post is not specifically about Jiu Jitsu, however if you are like me you can relate absolutely anything back to it. This is something I wrote in June 2013 the next morning after it happened. It is one of those events that were life changing for myself in many ways, from the very first moment I stepped onto the boat until now. It was also crucial in closing a chapter in my book of life after 13 years in the Defence force I often thought a lot about the “WHY” factor and this event finally answered that for me. Please enjoy the read and feel free to leave comments and share with your friends.

Have you ever given up something to achieve your dreams?

Let me take you back its April 2009 my first daughter is 5 months old and we are about to get on a plane for 4.5hours from Melbourne to Darwin. She has never flown before and both my wife and I are stressing about how she will go. Fast forward a month I am about to conduct my first boarding since having my daughter. Not thinking anything about it I go about my business as usual. I get onto the boat only to be confronted by a little girl crying, and I mean absolutely losing her shit. She is about the same age as my daughter. Now usually I would of scoped the whole situation out assessed how many people were on board, made sure my team members were on safely, and if there were any direct threats. In this moment of unprofessionalism everything I had been trained to do went out of the window and the father in me came out. I took the girl from her parents; she stopped crying almost instantly and gave me a massive smile. It was in this moment I had realized what I done. I gave her back and went about my business.

Back on our boat that night I was thinking about everything that happened and what that parents girls had been prepared to do to achieve their dream of raising their family in a safe environment. Not only did they spend everything they had to do it but they left behind family members, houses, communities, and their culture. Not to mention risking not only their lives but the lives of the most precious goods; their children, and here I was stressing about a 4 hour flight on one of the world’s safest airlines?? Their journey was made up of sneaking out of Afghanistan across into Pakistan down to Malaysia to Indo and onto Australia and I can guarantee not one of those legs were as safe as ours, not to mention the baby girl would of been two months old when they left.

That is what I call giving up everything to reach where you want to be in life!!

Now usually we would take these people to Christmas Island hand them over and be done with it not to ever know what happens to them most of the time the get settled in a community not dissimilar to what you see on the news trying to enforce the same way of living in our towns as what they left their own country for.

Jump forward to June 2013 4 years later. I am out of the navy and I get on a train to come home from work. Upon boarding the train I look around and notice a Middle Eastern family (mum and two children) sitting next to the only spare seat. I take up the seat and notice the mother staring intently at me. After about 5 minutes she asks me in broken English Australian Navy? I tell her no. She asks again. I reply not any more although yes I used to be. It is at this moment I look down at the little girl and she smiles at me. Instantly I realize the smile and cannot believe what is going on. The mother then confirmed what I thought was happening by telling me she remembers me from when we caught them and bought them to Australia. She was so thankful that we had caught the boat that day; they had lost family members on trips before and feared the same fate. Her husband had been working two jobs and attending night school to learn English and she too was now learning English. Her family have integrated into a community similar to yours and mine and were trying their hardest to fit in to the Australian lifestyle. She couldn’t thank me enough although the smile from her young girl said so much more than any words could.

Not only was this family prepared to give up everything to achieve their dream of raising their young kids in a safe environment, when they had achieved it they continued to work just as hard to achieve more. They were thankful for what they now have and were not afraid to show thanks.

Take whatever message you want from this and apply it to any area of your life, but know that if you are prepared to do absolutely everything within your power there is NO reason that you cannot achieve your goals no matter what they are. Just remember when you make it never forget where you came from and who helped you along the way.

You never know when you may take that train ride into the past!!!!


(Above) The reason I do what I do.


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