For some reason, this past week, I have completely lost all of my motivation. Not just for fighting, but for everything. I felt dead and did not know why. I just wanted to lie around and be a waste of space. It felt as if my soul had died. I'm not sure what it was. I mean usually I'll go through a brief spat of depression after every fight, I know many other fighters do as well. You have this long build up to this event that your entire life is centered around. All of the training, dieting, killing yourself day in and day out. Then the fight happens and suddenly, it's all over. You're left with this empty feeling inside. It usually only lasts a few days and isn't that intense. I'm typically just bummed out for a while.
For whatever reason, after this last fight, it was horrible. I don't know if it was because of the fact that I lost or what. I knew that I still wanted to fight but I had no drive. I had a fight coming up in about two and a half weeks yet I had no desire to train for it. I couldn't believe it was happening, and at the worst possible time. This was going to be a huge fight, a rematch for the WBC title. I knew he was training his ass off to kick mine but for some reason I just didn't care.
The day that I started getting a little motivation, I got a call telling me that the fight was off! This really put a damper on my mood. I just threw my hands up and left the gym, not sure when I would return. I was praying about it a lot, I didn't know why I felt this way. I thought, “Maybe I'm not supposed to do this anymore”, but that quickly went away as I didn’t have any doubts on my purpose, just confusion as to what was causing these feelings.
To not be motivated for the one thing in my life that brings me all of my motivation and drive for everything else. It was as if someone put the fire of my soul out. I talked to few of my friends and loved ones and asked for their advice, which was a little weird for me since I'm usually the one that people go to for help, even though I never know why. They told me that maybe I just needed a break. I mean I've been doing this nonstop, every single day, since I started, without ever truly having a break. They said they didn't know how I've kept it up this long. I really don't even know. I realized that things had started becoming routine. I live at the gym, literally, all I do is eat, sleep, train, fight and go to fights. My last few fights I had zero emotions. I definitely wanted to fight but I just didn't have that drive, I wasn't happy or sad. It was just like any other day for me. In a way, it was good because I didn't have anything clouding my focus but at the same time, if you have no emotion about doing what you love then why do it?
It was difficult for me to realize, or think, that I had lost my passion for this. My friends told me I should take time off, truly take time off. Usually I would take breaks yet I would still be at the gym in one way or another. I took their advice. I sat around all day thinking about my life, eating, drinking and trying to evaluate where I was and where I wanted to go. I realized that I hadn't lost my passion, I had just been doing the same thing for so long that it had become routine. I recognized that no matter how much passion you have for something, sometimes you need to change it up a bit or take a break. You need to take a step back and look at your life once in a while. See where you're at, where you're going and where you want to end up.
I know that I was put on this earth to be a fighter, more than anything else; this is one thing that I know for sure. I love being able to inspire people through doing what I love. Who could ask for more? That is one of my favorite things about fighting, people telling me that I inspired them to do something, even if it's not to fight, but to do something with their lives. I don't know how or why my fighting helps people like that but I am extremely grateful that it does. I don't think that there's anything better in this world than having a positive influence on someone else’s life and inspiring them to make changes that they never would have otherwise. I pray that I can keep inspiring people, regardless of whether I'm winning or losing, and continue to do what I love.
All those that come up to me at the fights, or contact me letting me how I affected them, makes me want to continue this that much more. I will keep doing this for as long as I can, or for as long as I love it. I know that every fight could be my last, that's why I always give it my all and would never give up, no matter what. This is my life.
I feel bad about being uninspired this past week but I'm grateful for the people who gave me such good advice and that I was able to take a step back for a moment. I'm really looking forward to getting back in the gym and doing what I love every day.
For everyone that is having trouble going after their dreams, or even just doing what they need to do, don't be disappointed, it's not always going to be easy. In the beginning, you have all the motivation in the world, but as more and more time passes, it gets increasingly difficult. If you feel like I did, just take a step back, take a break or do something different for a while. It doesn't mean that you're giving up; sometimes we have to disengage in order to go forward. No matter what go after what it is that you want. Sometimes what you want can change and that's OK, but never settle and never lose the idea that you deserve to do what makes you happy.
No matter how far off your dream may seem continue going towards it. As long as you are moving forward, you are furthering yourself from the things that didn't bring you happiness.
My mother sent me this wonderful quote last week, “I am the creator of my own joy and happiness. Today I recognize that I will not find happiness by waiting for it to happen, or by having it bestowed upon me by a happiness benefactor. I find joy in who I am, and I relish what life has to offer. True happiness does not come from externals. True happiness does not come from flashy cars, stylish clothes and expensive homes. I do not need "the right person" to make me happy, nor do I search for happiness the way I search for a lost set of keys. I define happiness for myself. I make my own happiness today and experience joy in living in my own unique way.”-Rokelle Lerner.
So, to everyone out there, continue to move forward, no matter how many setbacks you have. Every moment is a new one. It's never too late to start living life the way you know that you should.
I want to thank everyone that has let me know how my words have helped them in their lives. I can't tell you how much I appreciate hearing that and it makes me want to continue to writing and putting things out there that much more. I don't know how or why it helps people, I am just extremely grateful that it does!