The more you put in

Hi. I’m currently having some sort of existential crisis/ Facebook meltdown combined. Here’s my last status.

“I’ve just got this big ball of energy just sitting there waiting to do something. Pissing me off. Itchy is the word. Looking forward to boxing next week..Was nice today when I was running earlier I felt really fit. Training was good too. What’s also annoying me is when I’ve banged on about fighting like this before on here I’ve ended up losing the fight. Do I just shut up about it and say nothing at all for the next week?”

The time I’m referring to happened way back in the mists of 2011 and the fight in question was a tough one. At the time, when my nerves got really bad leading up to a fight I’d post anything relating to Thai boxing that made me feel a little bigger inside. I was trying to fight fear with inspiration but I was looking for inspiration from the wrong source. You see what I needed to find was inside of me all along.

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Sometimes good things can happen. I have faith. 

It took me a 7 fight losing streak to realize that. I think the penny finally dropped shortly before fight number 7 a couple of years later and just after I had my arse handed to me by a fighter that completely outclassed me.

The next day I was running my usual run (I’d been stopped within the first couple of minutes the night before so wasn’t too banged up) and had shut out the usual feeling of disappointment to focus on the road ahead when it hit me. It was a big ball of emotion I’d never met before.

I got home after my run, and whilst in the shower noticed my eyes were getting watery and there was a lump in my throat that wouldn’t stop getting bigger. Instead of holding the emotion in, I decided to let it out. There I was a 30 something, a less than average fighter bawling out of frustration with myself and anger at my trainer for letting me get in the ring with that animal.

“Woah. That was intense.” I said to myself as I dried off to get dressed and get on with the rest of the day. The moment had lasted all but 30 odd seconds but it left me feeling..different. I felt better. I felt stronger and I was still pissed off but a little tougher than 30 minutes before.

I remembered what I had thought just before the emotion hit. “What your looking for you already have,” I said it to myself so gently and calmly that it was like someone, an older me had told me the truth and I couldn’t handle it.

What happened next or maybe what hasn’t happened yet wasn’t the material for the next Rocky film ( although an old flame once called me Johnny Balboa )but what it was (training and graft) inspired me enough to not look back and just keep fighting.

I  just kept going with the confidence to know that the more I put in the better I would get. The more fights I had the more I would learn about me and what I can and can’t do in that square ring and ultimately, the better I would become. One of my trainers way back when told me not to worry and just keep training. “It always tips for people who train a lot. You’ll see.”

In the end, he was right. I wanted to win so much that I did. Today I feel like I did before I won my first fight. Before the scales tipped in my favour. What that is, is exciting. Because I can still see it. I can see potential and I still want it. I can face my fears and ask them to stay because I know they’ll disappear when I step into that ring.

A good friend of mine texted me over the weekend to say he’d lost his second boxing match but it was close. He lost his first too you see. “It was close.” I’ve been there. Most people I know that are fighters have been there. Being a friend, I told him to “just keep fighting” I reminded him that him, me, you and everyone else out there that competes never loses. We just have to come back stronger. And when we come back stronger we aren’t just going to fight, we’re going to win. See what I did back there? yeah. Me too.

You see, something else I’ve come to realize over time is that fighting is about me. It’s not about the bullfight critics but about me and what I have to prove to myself. I thought for a while I had nothing left to prove but just recently I realized there are still a few chapters left in my story. There’s still a little fuel left in the tank. There is a light and it never goes out, right now it’s burning bright. I am no longer afraid.  Have a good week, train hard fight easy and just like the last time..I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

 

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