Before I moved to Seattle in 1996, I lived in Denver, Colorado. I worked at a prestigious spinal cord/brain injury hospital- Craig Hospital. This was an amazing job and I learned even more about empathy vs feeling sorry for people. I learned how people were able to take a huge traumatic experience and be grateful. I learned that a seemingly insurmountable disaster was truly a gift. A gift of life in a very unexpected way.
At the same time, I was studying Buddhism and going on a regular basis to sitting meditation at the Denver Zen Center. (If you know me, stop laughing at the thought of me sitting still for 1 hour just breathing….it really happened) Because of this influence I found one of the most important books in my life, Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving Kindness by a crazy Tibetan Monk, Chogyam Trungpa.
This post is dedicated to my time at Craig Hospital, the book I just referenced and of course, to boxers and boxing.
There is a chapter called Transformation of Bad Circumstances. In this chapter is a section called, Be Grateful to Everyone. I recently had this experience when deciding to re home my dog that I got from a shelter with a lot of neurosis. I had her for 7 years and worked my butt off getting her trained and contained. She was probably closer to a wolf than a dog. She was difficult with other dogs and it took a lot of muzzle training to get her to be with another dog so she didn’t cause damage. With people she was crazy sweet and hilarious and goofy. She was extremely beautiful and intelligent and I was thankful that she didn’t have a thumb. As I was going through a huge transition in my life and a lot of stress it affected her adversely. She started chewing holes through my doors at home and reverting to old escape habits. She was also getting more aggressive with other dogs. I thought long and hard and decided I needed to let her go.
I was met with a lot of judgement and resistance from others. I’m not exactly sure what people thought, but I could feel the disapproval. At first I was mad and judgmental right back. But, I started really thinking about my decision because of their thoughts and actions. I thought and thought and thought and finally came to the conclusion that I indeed needed to let her go and if I was going to have a dog, it would have to be a low energy, low maintenance kind. By the time I gave her up, I was certain about my decision. Had it not have been for the doubters, I wouldn’t have been made to think so hard and become so certain. I remembered, Be Grateful to Everyone.
Boxers deal with this a lot. In their lives, they experience questioning from family and friends. They often sacrifice time at home so they can train. They sometimes experience brutal punches and have to explain why it’s worth it. They go through hell to make weight, to be ready for fights, to get in the ring for only 8-12 minutes after months of training. Not everyone understands and often boxers get mad. I recommend thanking the doubters…….they will show you how much you really do or do not want it!
Be Grateful For Everyone!