2004 was a mix of emotions for me.
I met and trained with a lot of my heros from Jan to May 2004. Guys like Matt Thornton, Shaolin, Jean-Jaques Machado, Couture etc, Things were looking up but then again things weren't great.
My marriage (only 1 years old) was on the rocks, It was like my mother and I didn't even know each other (even though she lived in the upstairs apartment), 3 memebers of my family passed away, depression was kicking in at a very disturbing rate, friends were getting sick of my shit and even dough my training and job life were at an all time high, I wasn't happy with the person I had become personally.
Then it happened.
I completely tore my ACL and training was no more. Someone higher up had decided to cut my most favourite thing in the world and take it away from me. Now because I was hurt, I wasn't gonna be able to work, go party, get wild and get drunk all the time(these things for some reason were top priorities at the time for me) etc. I thought being seriously injured was gonna be the beginning of the end for me.
Then I woke up.
Turned out that the injury was the greatest and most beneficial thing to ever happen to me. It was a blessing in disguise and not only woke me up but saved my life.
For one, it reminded me of how lucky I was to have such a beautiful, helpful, couragous, caring and loving wife. Since being hurt, I got to spend the most time with her ever since we started dating almost 10 years ago. I had forgotten how much she meant to me, how much she loved me and much I had hurt her (sometimes intentionally) over the last few years. My mom and I got closer and closed some old wounds, My friends stayed by me and helped me enormously even dough I was a dick to them and the e-mails of support I got the day after my surgery from all my friends and training partners in the MMA/Grappling community was enough to bring a man who'd rather die then cry, to tears.
It is december now, the year is almost over and I'm close to the 4 month mark since my surgery. I'll be able to pyshically return to "light" training in another 3 months and life can get back to normal. The difference now is, I'm a lot happier, secure and peacefull with myself.
2004 will always be remembered by me. It could've been the worst year of my life, I could've self-destructed or even worse, ended it, but I pulled through thanks to a wife who never gave up on me, a mother who adores her son and friends and family who helped me in my time of need (physically, personally and spiritually).
As much as I love training, fighting, competing and will continue to love it and participate in it, my eyes were opened to more important issues. 2004 taught me that the most important thing is love, family and being loyal to those who never stopped being loyal to me and my soul is better off for it.