Someone recently asked me to write about what it was like when I first started. How I managed to juggle training with work, school, etc. Anyone that has ever made it anywhere in life has had to sacrifice and overcome more than you could ever imagine. I can't tell you how many excuses I hear from people about why they can't make it, whatever "it" is, or even start for that matter. For every excuse you have there's someone out there that has had the same excuse, and more, yet still overcame them and achieved their goals. People use their circumstances as a cop out on even trying. “I coulda done that if only...” But years from now, when you are sitting alone with your thoughts, you are going to be left with one question burning in your soul, what if? What if I didn't let these excuses keep me from going after it, what if I gave it everything I had no matter the cost, what if? 

Fear and doubt is what kept me from going after my dreams of becoming a fighter. I was too old to start, too skinny, too much of a drunk, etc, etc. How would I ever make it? Even if I was able get over all of those other excuses I knew that I wouldn't be able to pay for the training that I would need. I knew that the fastest way to get into the ring would be to take private lessons, as opposed to the class, but there was no way I could afford it. Finally, I told myself that even if I had to I would take a lesson every week, or hell every month, and then take what I learned and work on it alone. Even if it took forever, I would make it. Fortunately my father agreed to help pay for my training as long as I remained sober, which was an enormous challenge on its own. 

Now I was half way through getting my computer animation degree when I started training. A big part of me just wanted to drop out so that I would have more time for the gym but I knew that I would always regret it, I was also working at the time. Looking back I have no idea how I was able to juggle all of those things. I would get up at 4am, do my road work, sit ups and stuff, go to school for 4-8 hours, go to work for another six and then get to the gym about 6 night.

Once I graduated from school I thought things would get a lot easier. Well I definitely had more time to train but things were far from easier. Around the time of my graduation my father basically cut me off and disappeared. Not only was I left without a job, as I had been working for him, I was also left without a home. My brother and I had been sharing a house at the time but now that we were both out of work we had no way to afford the rent. I had no idea what I was going to do. Fortunately, my brother had a friend who he rented a room from and luckily had some extra space where I could keep most of my belongings, but I still had nowhere to live. All I cared about was being able to train so as long as I could do that then I was happy. There were a few rooms upstairs above the gym where people would often stay when they would fly in for camps. I use the term 'room' very loosely as it was more like a big closet. One of the other trainers lived there as well. I asked Master Toddy if it would be ok for me to stay there for awhile until I figured out what I was going to do, as I basically had no other options. He said I could clean the gym and teach the morning class as my rent. I happily agreed. 

I could go into a million stories about living at the gym, all the struggles and tough times those were but I'll leave that for another day, you get the point. 

I knew that no matter how tough you have it, or think you have it, there will always been someone out there who has it tougher and still finds a way to make it. Your excuses mean nothing! If you truly want something then you are going to have to prove it. No amount of obstacles should ever stand in your way. They are just there to test your level of commitment. All or nothing is the only way to accomplish your goals. 

Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop with your excuses, get up off your ass and do something about it!

-The End-

“Face your fears, live your dreams”-Kevin Ross