Who said “bad news comes in threes?“ I’m here to argue that “good news comes in threes.”
I’ll be honest that last week I was getting a little discouraged about Luciano’s trip. It was Friday and he still didn’t have his visa. I had written to a couple of newspapers and Jiu-Jitsu magazines and heard nothing back. The artist I was trying to get to design a t-shirt for Luciano said he was too busy with other projects at this time. There were a multitude of loose ends I couldn’t pull together without more time, information and help. And on Saturday I got the disturbing news that Luciano had been robbed at gunpoint and the new tablet-camera he bought for his trip was stolen. Maybe this endeavor wasn’t nearly as cool and inspiring as I seemed to think it was. No. I knew that it was. Sometime during my journey through grief I began to recognize the flame in Carly’s spirit that glowed with “do good, and good will come back to you.” I believed that to be true.
Maybe the part I didn’t recognize was the underpinning “you have to be patient” part. I’m learning that part now. Monday good news came in a threesome. First I got a message from Jean telling me that Luciano got his visa. (Hear my big sigh of relief?) Then I opened an email from Caroline Gracie telling me that Gracie Mag wanted to cover Luciano’s story and his participation at Worlds. What? I got goosebumps. (For the uninitiated, Gracie Mag is like the biggest name in Jiu-Jitsu publications; international, half is written in Portuguese.) They posted this story online already: http://www.graciemag.com/2014/05/disabilities-are-no-match-for-jiu-jitsu-how-one-blue-belt-has-gone-beyond-his-limitations/
And for a threesie: I made a connection with an artist to design the t-shirt. When I was getting the feeling that the other prospect wasn’t going to work out, I sent a message to Albert. I call Albert my “fighter-friend.” Not to diminish calling him just a “friend-friend”, because he is definitely that too, but Albert was one of my students who later came to train at FosterBJJ and now fights MMA. He made his professional debut last month and won. http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Albert-Tadevosyan-84326 I could write a story about him, I’m very proud, but later. The artist is the same guy who designed Albert’s banner and walk-out shirt, Javier.
So about the tee. Javier and I connected via messenger and I described my idea. He was very interested in being a part of the project and was very upbeat; As much as you can be upbeat typing in messenger – a splash of emoticons helps. When we got to talk by phone (I know, how antiquated) it become obvious this was meant to be. Javier had designed a graphic a while ago with a Brazilian vibe, but one he never did much with. At the same moment he opened the file to look at it, I messaged him. Throughout my description of what I thought I wanted, he knew his graphic belonged on this t-shirt. I don’t want to be a spoiler and show everyone the design now, but very soon. It commemorates Luciano’s heritage, his courage and his motto, “Difficult does not mean impossible.”
You will love it and I expect you all to pick one up. Proceeds from the sale of this shirt will help fund the remainder of his stay in the US and Give the Gift of a Gi. Luciano steps on terra firma USA next week, May 22nd. He will be in the states until July 3rd. My first task will be to keep him from getting overwhelmed. I’m glad that I have been studying Portuguese, but have the feeling that my “it’s fun to learn new things” attitude will be tested. I will have to use my Portuguese to REALLY communicate. The next 40 days will, no doubt, serve as two years of tutorial. O que você vai fazer?