One of the best parts about running a company serving jiu-jitsu players is the incredible stories we hear from our customers.
We love Gina's story because she used BJJ to get back to a fit and healthy life.
Gina Cambardella Ragsdale
Atlanta, GA. White Belt.
Why did you first get into jiu-jitsu?
At 44 I was "stuck" after four years of CrossFit with a post maternity body. I wasn't moving the needle - my routine lacked cardio and I had little results with "losing inches", despite an affinity to working out and making it a part of my day. I saw a friend at a park and she looked amazing.
I asked her what her routine was and she encouraged me to join her kickboxing class at the local gym.I went to a class and the whole time I found myself watching the BJJ class. Needless to say that was the only Kickboxing class I attended!
This was in February 2019 and at 5'9" I was stubbornly around 195 pounds. Eleven months later I am close to 167 pounds and have never looked back. And the fact that the Professor is Bruno Frazatto, a world-class competitor and Coach has been a driving force in maintaining a 4-5x week training schedule.
I feel like my journey is in infancy, but look forward to the training and competitions to come.
What has been the biggest obstacle in your journey and how have you overcome it?
When I go to an area open gym or if I'm traveling, I absolutely dread the feeling of walking in. Just the mustering of courage to go and practice and roll. The self doubt and negative thinking that no one wants to train with someone at my age and rank. I typically get over it the minute we are on the mats. I just don't let that get in my way of a good workout.
Tell us about your best (or worst) submission story.
As a mother of three young boys and a somewhat maternal type person - it's very much a difficult concept and practice to choke people and/or cause bodily harm. I'm working on "getting mean" I guess you could say. I want to compete so I know this is essential. I also have a habit of closing my eyes while rolling. I'm going to work on keeping them open for a submission opportunity:)
Share one piece of advice you have for our community.
The art and knowledge and the sharing of time and techniques in BJJ is invaluable. When the upper rank takes the time to share with the lower belt, it does make all the difference. Continue to wrangle your mothers and sisters and women in your life to expose themselves and to the idea of training. It can be a sport in which you can mentally and physically have continued growth. No special equipment required....always a plus....
You can find Gina on Instagram at @ginaragsdale.