5 years ago my special needs son, Henry was preparing to attend the College Experience Program at The College of St Rose in Albany. I was overwhelmed with anxiety at the idea of having Henry away from home for the first time. Henry is a beautiful sweet boy who was diagnosed with autism at 18 months and had attended special needs schools and self contained classrooms his entire life. If there was a surgery to attach him to my hip I would have considered it. I knew I needed an outlet to deal with my anxiety and I found jiu jitsu.
I was a 52 year old former college athlete and a weekend warrior with no martial arts or wrestling experience. I was immediately hooked. Learning to put problems into proper perspective and knowing that through solid technique I could resolve most issues was one of the most liberating and valuable experiences of my life. Last night Henry received an award for being Employee of the Year from The Living Resources for the job he has done for Pioneer Bank. Henry is living a fully independent, productive life in Albany NY and I have found a passion that I will pursue for the rest of my life.
I would like to thank all of the wonderful people at The College Experience Program, the College of St Rose, Living Resources and Pioneer Bank. Your kindness and sense of community is truly amazing. I would also like to thank all of my Jiu Jitsu people. I was blessed to have walked into Renzo Gracie Academy that first day and everyday since. I have always had the absolute best instruction from some of the most kind and knowledgeable people I have ever known . I am constantly amazed by the acumen and generosity of my instructors. Jiu jitsu will always hold a special place in my heart. Jiu Jitsu helped save this life.