When growing up, we are faced with several choices in life. We have mentors, coaches, friends, and other external influences that help form us. Many times, we face decisions that are difficult to make, and our decisions are typically made based on what we know, instinct, or what we envision.
Rene Gallegos is a 20-year-old professional Jiu-Jitsu fighter under Caio Terra (@caioterrabjj). Like many of us, he has been faced with several tough decisions throughout his life. This article is intended to share how he is forging his own path. Maybe you have had some of the same experiences and can relate, maybe not.
The happy, outgoing, and positive kid was not always this way. Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, he was often bullied at a young age for reasons unknown to him. Being a bit smaller than others and an overall nice kid, he was an easier target for others to pick on. These types of treatments have been known to limit or deter our development of self in some cases. Read more at https://www.stopbullying.gov/resources/facts.
Rene’s father, Jose Gallegos, learned about Rene’s dilemma's and started to give him alternatives to help defend himself. He told him that one day he will be faced with someone who won’t let up and would push his limits. Rene was urged to join sports such as boxing, football, baseball, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Naturally, Rene is not a violent person and seeks friendships while enjoying the presence of others. The message from his father was simple, you need to learn how to defend yourself.
Rene started boxing and Jiu-Jitsu at the age of nine. He was naturally drawn to Jiu-Jitsu because community consisted of people who were easy to talk to. This allowed him to develop relationships with his fellow artists. Rene would escape or avoid boxing to start learning the art of Jiu-Jitsu.
Growing up as part of a close-knit family, it was a difficult decision for Rene to take his next steps leaving Texas. He debated over joining the Marines because several family members had served. At a tournament in 2019, He was granted the opportunity by Nick Haloski, Administrator for the Ciao Terra Association (CTA). Nick approached Rene and asked him what his future plans were, Rene explained to him that he wanted to go to school and continue BJJ. Nick offered him the opportunity to train at CTA in San Jose, CA along with helping him out with school funding.
Rene made the decision to leave Texas and join CTA in California to continue his journey in BJJ and pursue of higher education. There, he met and currently trains with Submission Underground (SUG) Champion Mason Fowler (@masonfowlermma). The two have formed a bond and have several characteristics in common such as hard work and determination.
Jiu-Jitsu is not the only art that Rene enjoys. He also finds balance and peace by drawing and solving puzzles such as the Rubics cube. These “hobbies” are a continuous form of development of the mind. Paired with the physical state of Jiu-Jitsu, the balance is found.
What does this short story about Rene tell us you may ask? Here is a young man forging his own path and overcoming adversities. A young man who has crafted into a fun, mature, and professional individual based on his circle of influence and life decisions. Who is your circle of influence?
Follow Rene on his exciting journey @renegallegosbjj! You will enjoy his sense of humor and personality along with his drive. Follow @vooduecompany for updates on Rene as well as several other people that are living the life they want. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Forge Your Own Path!
#forgeyourownpath #thevooduelife #duespaid
Action photos by @phong_bolo and @cactusdru