“I call it getting pushed over the edge literally. It was an experience where I was in Rio de Janeiro and I was coming down from the famous mountain Pedra da Gavea, where a lot of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes go to train and climb and also just go to there to enjoy because it’s one of the highest point in Rio de Janeiro and you can see the whole city from there and it’s just breathtaking. But on the way down, we were coming down from the waterfall and I slipped and ended up going head first off a mountain and literally remember being sad and specifically being sad thinking in my head, ‘Well, I guess this is how I’m going to die,’ I remember saying exactly those words, ‘Well, I guess this is how I’m going to die,’ exactly like that. And I just remember that it was like I almost lost something, I lost a game or something, I remember thinking, man, I can’t believe this is how it’s going to go down, I can’t believe that all these things that I wanted to do, all these things that I could have done I never had the chance to do it. And here I am on a different part of the world and I’m going to die, without saying goodbye to people, without accomplishing goals and with all these regrets. Finally I landed and got the wind knocked out of me, my back cracked and all that stuff and my friends thought I was dead. I landed probably about 15 or 20 feet, which is a decent drop landing on a rock. And as I kind of got my wits back and got off the rock, I kind of started laughing and looked around me and I realized that that rounded rock is the only thing that saved me, if I didn’t land on that rock I would have fallen, there’s maybe about a foot or two off of that rock and I would have fallen hundreds of feet definitely to me death. So I was lucky just the way that I landed and the way the rock was shaped, it was perfect. So it was my chance to appreciate life and I was pretty quiet going down that mountain thinking about what happened. The next couple of weeks I thought about it even more and the next few months I started making some changes in my life and really started pursuing martial arts more seriously. I ended up quitting my job and doing some other things that would bring me that happiness and get me in my own life to not have any regrets. It just literally pushed me to chase my dream and chase goals and just to live life."
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