We are just finishing up the first half of our training camp and preparing for the second half that will take us into the Golden Gloves competition.
Recently, I had the privilege of talking to a boxer I trained and took to a previous Regional Golden Gloves. He did incredible, but lost. For me, I saw it as a measurement of where he was and what I would have to arrange, organize and prepare for him to reach the next level. For him, it was entirely different. I did not realize the devastation he felt after losing. He quit boxing and moved on to many other exciting things, but I stayed here and really wondered what the hell happened. When I recently asked him why he really quit, he said, “I thought how hard I trained……I trained so hard and I couldn’t even win……how could I keep boxing if I couldn’t even win after working so hard.”
It all made so much more sense. And damnit, I wish I could have those moments back, to help him see his experience from another perspective or at least give him the opportunity to realize his true greatness even in the loss.
I found myself saying out loud to my current boxers. “You know you could work your ass off harder than ever and you could still lose……You could push your mind and your body to limits you didn’t think possible and still lose. So, go for it….it’s 50/50. Just go for it……the worry of losing is a waste of energy and creates tension. It’s written in, you have a 50% chance of losing/winning. All you can do is control the variable of preparation. Train hard, be prepared and trust yourself when you get in there. Listen to me, perform and we will reassess when it is all over.”
We are so conditioned as a society to wallow in comfort and complacency. We pick the football game over the political debate. We pick the supposed sure thing to avoid being hurt or abandoned. We seek comfort in our surroundings, the people around us, the activities we choose and we avoid risk. We make entirely elaborate decisions out of fear versus curiosity.
…. is the preconception that suffering is a mistake- or a sign of weakness….or a sign even of illness, when when in fact, possibly the greatest truths we know have come out of people’s suffering. That the problem is not to undo suffering, or wipe it off the face of the earth, but to make it inform our lives instead of trying to cure ourselves of it constantly and avoid it and avoid anything but that lobotomized sense of what they call happiness…..Theres too much focus on controlling man versus freeing him, of defining him rather than letting him go- Arthur Miller
Training for golden gloves is a microcosm of our whole life. The amount of suffering in training will be far greater than the fight. The amount of suffering in training will hopefully be stronger than the pain experienced in loss. The desire to suffer and grow will hopefully be higher than the height of winning. It is in preparation that we learn and grow…..the fight, the event, it is our measurement test. It tells us where we are at and illuminates what we need to go further, to be more efficient, more daring, more detailed….more whatever…..
The minute we win or lose the belt, it is in our past. We have moved on and must sit in the results until the next action for movement is evident. This mindset is the attitude of a driven person…..driven to learn, the mindset that it’s ok to be wrong, that it’s more desirable to strive than to sit on our haunches stuck in immobility because we fear and outcome. The mindset to let our hands fly until it’s all over.
I plan on a 2017 where a higher number of people around me won’t settle for a society lacking in awareness…….where a higher number of people around me demand opportunity for discomfort to grow. I plan on a 2017 with champions that can handle winning and losing and are always looking for the next opening.