These last 2 years has been pretty crazy for me. Here's a quick recap for those who haven't been following September 2010, I go into hospital for a surgery that has been routine for the past 11 years, a baclofen pump replacement. It happens every 5 to 7(depending on your pump's battery). I had the 7-year battery. I woke up from the surgery with insane back pain. Now you must understand, I suffer from neuromuscular scoliosis, so if there is anyone who knows about back pain its me, because I deal with it every single day. Needless to say, when I woke up and couldn't stand the pain from simply lying on my back I knew something was wrong. They sent me home the next day and two days following that my incision opened. After countless ER visits and re-admissions to the hospital for infection we finally decided to abandon the idea of a new pump installation altogether. Fast forward Feb 2011 I finally start training again and in December of 2011 I received my black belt. They say when you get your black belt you learn more than you ever learned coming up through the ranks. I've been a black belt for a year, so what have I learned? Well, I'll be the first to admit I've been exposed to a few new positions, but they've all been variations on classic positions like spider guard. What I discovered was more about myself than BJJ. After I finally was finished with the revolving trap door that was the hospital, I learned that BJJ is easiest part of my life. There's nothing those mats can throw at me that I can't handle. In short perseverance is just as important as preparation.