Lost in a dream
(Wrote this about a month or so ago after my fight against Varga)
Today the doubts came creeping in. It’s always subtle while I’m in the midst of training, there’s too much other noise going on but, at times like this as I sit in the sauna and sweat, those words are burning into my soul; Can I still do this? Do I want to? Should I? These questions are painful, I feel sad and down, defeated. Am I delusional; am I too old, too slow, too concussed? The depression works its way in no matter how much I try to fight it. Just before it takes a hold of me I am reminded, these questions have always been there! They started from the first day I had this crazy dream. ‘Am I too old? Can I even do this? Will I be good enough? Is it too late to start?’ They have always been there, and more than likely always will be. Whether it’s about fighting or any other endeavor in my life. They come and go with the wind. They will stick around more after losses but they are still there, at times, after the greatest victories.
Can I, do I want to, should I? The first question is the one that ruins more dreams then failure ever could. Doubt and fear. Ironically, it’s the simplest one to answer. Simple is clearly the wrong word but I’m not sure what to call it. How much of the precious little time we have on this earth have we wasted on a question that can only ever truly be answered by action? We ask others yet their response is inevitably meaningless. The only way to truly know is to do it and even then we usually don’t really know until looking back.
I have doubts, I have fears and I have sadness in thinking this thing that I’ve dedicated over 15 years of my life to is over. What do I do now? In that regard, I feel very fortunate. So few fighters have anything they can, or want to do after it is all over. I have too many things, and need to start narrowing them down.
What I would never want to do is quit before I’m truly done. Yet, at the same time, I would not want to wait too long either. That’s the dilemma. Just like most things in life, we are constantly trying to find that balance. Too much, too little. Too fast, too slow. Too big, too small. Too young, too old. Right wing, left wing. Etc., etc. How much pain, war and other atrocities are caused because of the team sport aspect of life. You’re either with us or against us. Well what if I sort of agree with a few things? If only we realized we are more alike than different, for the most part. If we could just find a middle ground. We don’t even need to agree, just understand one another. Maybe one day we shall, but it’s also human nature not to. More than likely we will keep destroying each other, and this world, until we wipe ourselves off the face of it and it all starts over again. I often wonder if this cycle has happened before. Over and over and over again, because we just never get it right. How did I even get going on this tangent? Maybe I’ve been in this sauna too long!
Back to the beginning, how I am feeling. I’m not sure that I’m any closer to figuring it out than I was the moments after the fight. I have more peace and understanding about it, however. Back to the can I, do I want to, should I, questions. Well the first, again, can only be answered by doing. I will only be able to find that out through the process of starting and evaluating along the way. Without question I want to and feel I owe it to myself to give all of this at least one more go. If in the process of doing that I realize that I can’t take it, or just don’t want to, then at least I’ll know.
Part of me just wants to give up, that part of me that’s always trying to get me to quit, whether that be in training, fighting or anything else that’s difficult. Getting all this written down and out of my brain is therapeutic. It helps to be able to look at it instead of letting it twist itself into knots inside my brain.
I think one of the most valuable things is to take moments to turn the noise off, sit in peace and listen to that ever so silent voice that speaks to you. Your heart, your soul, God, whatever it is you want to call it. The one that knows you, that is you, without all of the distractions of the world clouding it up. The doubts, the what ifs, the infinite possibilities and outcomes can be silenced, if even for just a moment and we can hear. What does my heart and soul truly desire? Find that out and then figure out how to make it happen. We can sit back and overanalyze things until our brains explode but we will not be any closer to making anything happen until we put one foot in front of the other. Set your course and start making steps in that direction. It’s a process and as important as knowing where you want to go is, it’s just as important to take note of where you’re at along the way. Things can change and that’s ok.
Being lost in this world, never having had a guide, as I’m sure is the case for so many. I do my best to help show the way, when possible. Not to say I have things figured out but to pass along lessons I’ve learned. How to take wins and losses, successes and defeats, the good and the bad. It’s a constant learning and adjusting. So often, I just want to quit or give in, but what good is that? Taking the easy road can quickly become the norm. If I don’t do it who will? A question that has been consistent through the entirety of my career. Would I still be here if motivating others wasn’t a priority to me? Of course I would! Although it’s a focus, it is not my driving factor. I do this because I love it. I do this because it allows me to live at my fullest in every area. It helps me breath. It is my therapy. I think it’s important to continually remind ourselves why we are doing things, regardless of how positive, to make sure it’s still not only for the right reasons, but our right reasons. How easy it can be to confuse the two.
As I was trying to finish writing this out I came across this old blog I had written back in the day. Something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. Reminding myself that, regardless of what stage we are at in our lives or where we are in a journey, to enjoy the ride. Enjoy the process. When we look back, we are going to regret the things we skipped through, even the tough times:
Enjoy the ride
We all have things in our lives that we want, that we work for and dream about. Most of us feel that once we get that thing everything else in our lives will be better. We have this goal and we put all of our thoughts into achieving it but too often, we forget to enjoy everything along the way. I can compare this to training for a fight. I used to be in the midst of the day in, day out grind and dread the continuous exhausting days that I would have to go through. All I wanted to do was get to that moment where I could finally get in the ring and fight. I would get through the motions of training as quickly as possible that would ultimately all lead up to this event. The big day would finally be here, the fight would happen and then in an instant, it would all be over. Afterwards I would be left with an empty feeling, a sadness, almost a depression. My whole life would be centered on this one moment in time; every second of every day would be focused on this upcoming event. And then it would be gone! I realized that all those days of hard training that I would dread and get through as fast as possible, were just as valuable and significant as the fight day. I realized that I was rushing through my life. Sure, it might not be as fun as actually fighting but I get to live my dreams every single day, why would I rush through or dread that?
What I'm trying to say is don't think that once you reach this goal everything is just going to magically be wonderful. If you aren't happy with five dollars in your pocket, you won't be happy with five million. Having goals and dreams is an extremely important part of life. I believe that we all need to have these things and that we need to go after them. However, don't think that once you get there that it's going to miraculously change your life and change who you are. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the now. Yes, that goal should drive you and keep you motivated, but don't forget to enjoy the struggle, enjoy the hard times. You're not going to be here forever, maybe 100 years’ tops, enjoy the moments that you have. Good or bad, they are all meaningful so appreciate them and ENJOY THE RIDE!