F your elbow
You may look at an old fighter whose punch drunk, body is broken and feel sorry for them. You may look at an Ali or Freddy Roach, see them struggle daily and use that as a reason to never step foot inside the ring. Granted it's tragic, yet to me I see them and I'm inspired. They are the epitome of someone who gave everything they had towards following their dreams. Some might ask “Yea, but is it worth it?” To all those people I say, “You're damn right it is!!!”
We are all going to end up worn out, used up, broken and dead one day. You can sit inside your house in a padded room, surrounded by doctors and nurses, being cautious of every little thing you do. Sure, you may end up living a little longer yet you will still end up in the same place that we all do. So I ask you, “Is it worth it?” Is it worth never risking anything to end up in the exact same position that the person who gave it their all does?
Granted, it's tragic seeing a fighter, athlete, or whomever, that has been killed or suffered irreversible damage, in the line of doing what they love but this is no reason to not go after it yourself.
“It's not tragic to die doing what you love.”-Bodhi
I really love this video, more than anything the two speeches in it from Mark Bell and Brandon Lilly hit home on so many things.
It's not a question of whether or not something is dangerous, it's not a question of what might possibly happen to you. The only question here is, “What are you willing to sacrifice, what are you willing to go through and what are you willing to risk in order to be your best?”
Whenever I would have a serious injury, specifically the time I had my skull fractured; people would ask when I was going to give all this up. “You're lucky to be alive”, they would say, “Are you going to finally stop chasing this silly dream?” …Not a chance in hell!!! As long as I'm breathing then I will be spending every second going after my dreams. It would have been easy to take all those setbacks, and I've had plenty of extremely serious ones, as a reason to give up. Most people do and that's why most people end up with a lot of regrets. A lot of “What ifs”. To me it’s just fuel for the fire to want to do more, do be better, and to motivate as many people as I can to do the same.
Take for instance the handful of times I have broken my right hand. The second time I broke it I had a fight coming up only a month after. Sure, it would have been easy to back out, and who would have blamed me, but for me, as long as I'm breathing than I'm fighting. Now I'm definitely not telling anyone else to do this, and definitely not saying it's the smartest or healthiest way to go, but you have to be willing to sacrifice in order to achieve great things. Fortunately, for me I was still able to go out there, perform and come out with a win. However, on the flip side, since I didn't take care of it properly, I've had hand problems my entire career. Every single time I punch with it, I'm in some level of pain or discomfort. Sure, I've had work done on it and gotten some therapy, which has helped, but it's always there. The one thing I use every single day, especially in training/fighting, causes me pain. But nothing worth having in this world will come to you easily, nothing will come without sacrifice, nothing will come without pain/discomfort, but it's a small price to pay in order to live your dreams. The difference between the people that make it and the people that don't has nothing to do with what happens to them along the way. It's a matter of how they handle themselves when those things do happen. How they push passed it, how they used it to motivate themselves instead of using it as a reason to give up.
So many people say they want to be a fighter, or want to achieve something great, but when it comes down to it, they aren’t willing to risk what they need to. They are afraid of pain, of fatigue, of failure, and all of those things will happen along the way, you can be certain of that. They will look for any excuse there is to not get off their butts and give something their all. For example, recently I've been seeing these articles on cross-fit and how it's dangerous. You'll see some “expert” come up with some statistics and do a report on why no one should participate in these activities, stating how dangerous they are. Guess what, life is dangerous, no matter how safe you try to make it. You can sit on the couch and be safe or you can get off your ass and try to be your best, but you gotta put the work in. You gotta pay your dues, you gotta believe in yourself when the whole world is telling you otherwise.
If you want an excuse not to do something you will find one, there's plenty out there, whether real or made up. So next time you are faced with a setback see it as a challenge, instead of a reason to give up. It's just another test along the way to see what you are willing to go through in order to go after your dreams. When you feel pain just remember, as long as you push through it, that it will make you that much stronger. Pain ain't nothing but a feeling! It isn't real, it's in your head, you need to tell your body/brain who is running the show, and that's your heart. So you can let it convince you that you need to quit/take a break, or you can use it to prove to yourself that nothing can stop you and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your dreams. It's what separates the champions from all those people out there who just talk about it.
Too few people are willing to put it all on the line in order to reach their goals. Those people that have given up, or that have never even tried, then will try to convince others to do the same, almost in order to justify their own failures. They will tell you that achieving your goals is impossible, that having dreams is a waste of time. No one that has ever accomplished their dreams would try to deter you from yours!
Take the risks, experience life, experience pain, failure, loss, just live your life knowing that you gave it your all and no one can ever take that away from you. We are all heading towards the same place. What are you going to before you get there? You don't have anything to prove to anyone but yourself.
“Face your fears, live your dreams!”-El Presidente'