There is no war without battles, nor victories without pain. You do not need to be a soldier to know that. It’s just about being willing to give 100% of yourself for what you do, and believing you are the best you can be. We know that the journey to “get there” is long, full of obstacles and surprises. At any time you may be tested, but there is nothing more difficult than having to confront yourself.
This dilemma is part of the lives of thousands of athletes around the world, regardless of their kind of sport. Being on the mats or in the swimming pools, on the ground or in the air, all of them have one fear in common: the injuries.
Nothing is more painful than being in a full training routine, eating well, dealing with your adrenaline all the time and then, subtly, get hurt. Agnaldo Silveira knows quite well what we are talking about.
After entering in the gentle art world, in 1997, and being introduced to the instructor and São Paulo regional leader, Carlos Alberto Liberi, Agnaldo’s enthusiasm and willingness to learn were so big that people had to ‘kick him out’ of the gym when it was time to close the place every night. “I was more and more in love with the sport, and I knew I was in the right place. So, under rain or shine, I was there training. I was addicted to the classes and I wanted to learn always more. Even if I was exhausted, I would be always there. The tiredness would not bother me, but due to this tiredness, my friends used to argue with me. It was for my own welfare and I knew that.”
Agnaldo did know that he should rest, but he would go beyond his own limits to be present in the trainings. Until one day, when, after another severe reprimand from his friends, this black belt decided to go for ‘that very last training’ of the day. “I was already tired. I had been training very hard before that. But I decided to do that last training. Just after I started I tried to do a fall and my foot slipped. I suffered a sprain in my knee and ended up with a complete anterior cruciate ligament rupture,” told this instructor Liberi’s student.
“Employ most of your time in your own development and you will see how better you will be, how everyone will look at you and respect you, with admiration. We all have our own battles. And in life, we must learn how to win them every day” – Agnaldo Silveira
The daily presence of Agnaldo in the mats and then his sudden disappearance make everyone aware of the reasons for his absence. “Everyone in the gym got to know what had happened to me. Among my training colleagues, there was a physiotherapist called Reginaldo Vieira Neto, who examined me.” After this examination, the news were not that great. “I had to undergo a surgery if I wanted to continue with my athletic career.”
But how to deal with this, considering his financial condition? This question would not leave Agnaldo until the physiotherapist gave him an answer: “Our doctor at Unicamp (State University of Campinas, São Paulo) would perform the operation at no cost. It was seven long months of rest. And Dr. Reginaldo said he would assist me with anything I could need to be fully recovered. It was a relief and an opportunity that I grabbed with all my heart,” remembers this guy from the Brazilian south state of Paraná.
The treatment sessions would occur five times per week, 2x per day (in the morning and night). After these physiotherapy sessions, this 2nd degree black belt was already able to make a zig zag run. “I would train as if I were playing chess. Feeling really light and comfortable. I could get all my confidence once again and, after nine months, I was already back to my normal training pace. I could not believe in what I had just lived those previous months.”
Today, Agnaldo Silveira is responsible for GB Prado, in São Paulo, and has a history with accomplishments like a Brazilian Championship, gold medal in Abu Dhabi pre-selection in South Africa, champion in Rio and São Paulo International Open, silver medal in 2014 Brazilian Championship and golden medal in the open-weight category. The story of this life and mats champion teaches us a lesson, which Agnaldo himself tells us:
“For those who may be facing a hard moment like that one I had, I can say: First thing – Trust in God and be sure that if you do good things, you will only receive good things. Nothing in life happens with no reason. Second – Trust in those who are beside you during these hard moments. They will support you and will be always ready to help you. And help those who look for your help. If they searched you out, they trust in you. And last – know that in Jiu-Jitsu you are tested all the time and in every single day of your life. You must know that when your neck is pressed, your joints, your arms and legs are stretched to their maximum by someone you just met, it is because you are trusting in that person. You know that when you tap and ask for him/her to leave you, it will happen. There is no bigger proof than that. This is jiu-jitsu. Trust in your team, in your master and in your friends. Respect yourself and look for getting always better and better.” – Agnaldo Silveira