Over the last several months, I have been reaching out to different people and different coalitions about an issue that is very important and personal to me. To list the issue is unimportant and to advertise the names of those involved or to list the coalitions involved is equally unimportant, and therefore by mentioning them it would only place honor names that are otherwise undeserving of my time.
The only thing I see deserving of mention is the dedication and strength of those who continue to fight in a battle that seems unwinnable at times. These are the kind of people I want to be like. They refuse to quit and they understand what it means to endure. They endure the rejection and take the pain without blinking an eye. I want to understand how to endure. I want to understand that at the end of the day, I have done my share. I put forth the effort and all else has nothing to do with me.
I want to be a man willing to fight back without regard for those who are either dismissive to what I do, or disruptive to the cause because they lack a sense of unit cohesion and togetherness. I want to be the kind of man who fight back because this is the right thing to do and not because I am like others in political pools, dishonest with their motives and simply put, setting a stage for a greedy display of personal recognition. No, that’s not what I want to be.
I am learning that sometimes people leave compliments. Sometimes they invite you or offer to call. Sometimes, they smile because this is their job. It’s not real and anything else about their conversation is sincerely plastic.
If given a thought about what I do and the odds against me, there are countless reasons why anyone would quit or give up. No matter what the issue or challenge may be, there is always a reason to quit. There’s always an excuse. There will always be doubt and there will always be somebody looking to tell you, “You can’t do it,” or “It’s a lost cause kid, might as well forget about it.” And on bad days, this might sound like good advice, but it’s not.
I have been told what I can and cannot do more times than I could ever count. I have been told who I am and who I am not. I have been told about my limitations and ability. More importantly, I have also been told what I am not capable of and that no matter how I try, or think, and dream, in the end I specifically remember being told, “That’ll never happen.”
Wrong . . .
No matter how great the athlete, no one has ever stepped onto a playing field and scored on every play. Even the best of teams experience loss and even the toughest of champions have been knocked down. Even the greatest of all times have suffered a loss, or have seen adversity tougher than you or I could ever imagine. Yet still, they endure. They compete without regard for pain, suffering, or loss.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been somewhat of a fight fan. Boxing was the sport when I was young. It is change now and boxing has given way to MMA fights inside of an octagon and enclosed in a cage.
One of the best MMA fights I have ever seen was a three, five-minute round fight in a cage. The fan favorite lost in the arena that night; however, what I saw not only a victory but it was also heroic.
This was a first fight in a new company for the fan favorite. He lost on the ground to a wrestler who subdued him throughout the fight, yet still, the fan favorite refused to stop trying to advance.
For three five-minute rounds, I watched a man refuse to give in. He continued to look for sweeps to advance in position or regain top control. He pulled guard when needed and took chances whenever he could.
Afterwards, the winner of the fight and odds-on favorite explained in an interview, “That was the toughest win of my life. No matter what I tried to do, I couldn’t keep him down. And no matter how I tried to keep him down, he just kept looking to get up.”
The fan favorite lost this fight but not in my eyes. No, in my eyes, and regardless to his other big wins or the highlight-reel victories, this fight will always be my favorite fight. This was the first time I realized that even victory can be a relative thing.
Over the last several months I have seen both the advancement in my effort and I have also been subdued at times, or taken down, so to speak. But that’s fine. All it means is that I need to look for the sweep and keep shooting for an escape.
All it means is that I need to learn how to advance from my position no matter how it may seem. Even if my back is against the wall or on the floor, all it means is that I need to figure out a way to win from of my back.
Whichever challenge I choose to call “My fight” is up to me and whether my fight is in a cage or in a conference room where other stuffed shirts, or suit and tie people sit down and smile to my face but shake their heads afterwards, —no matter what, this is still my fight, and the fact that I remain and advanced regardless to what I was told is still a victory.
About a year ago, I underwent an intentionally great amount of weight-loss. I was told that I would gain it back in a few months.
Wrong . . .
I decided to do something that means a lot to me, —it’s more like a dream I’ve been working on, really —It’s more like something I’ve wanted to do for decades now; only, I never thought or knew this would be possible. A while back I decided to make a change in a fight that means the world to me. More than personal reasons, I decided that I want to do something good and be helpful in this world.
For the last decade, I have listened to people tell me what I’ll end up as and where I’ll end up doing it.
Wrong . . .
This is wrong because I have come to the realization that I decide the standards in my life. I decide whether I quit or turn quietly down and allow others to dictate the pace of my fight.
Someone told me, “Stay in your lane.”
But I said, “No.”
I attended a book signing once. I sat behind a desk signing copies of something I had published. A few short months before this, I was undergoing intense therapy to overcome depression. My therapist at the time suggested that I continue to write but she expressed concern when I said, “I think this is something I really want to try and do.” This was the first time I ever defined what I wanted to be. The therapist told me that perhaps I should think more on other things and less on unrealistic dreams that may never come true.
Also, I spoke about a girl I had met to which the therapist strongly warned that I look passed and choose to focus my efforts elsewhere. And that was the last straw. I never scheduled another appointment after that.
Apparently this therapist was wrong in both cases because months later at a book signing, I was sitting at a table in the front of a book store with a sign in front of me that said, “Meet the Author.”
In all honesty, the book did not do quite as well as I had hoped. Nevertheless, it was still published, which is something I was told could never happen. I did not pay to be published nor did anyone else write the story.
No, it was done by me. And no, I am not sure that I would have released it the same way now. My writing has change since then.
The book was taken as a short story and unedited, or published “As-is,” to keep its grittiness. I wouldn’t have done it that way now —but still, at least I put it out there. At least I tried.
And there I was at my table with copies of my book, sitting next to my new bride and there she was, my therapist who told me this would never happen and that I should “Forget about it,” walked passed me. She looked at me with eyes wide-opened but passed without saying so much as a word. I didn’t say anything either. Then again, I didn’t need to say anything to
I don’t care how others choose to fight back or what they plan to do. I am not responsible for anyone else’s performance.
This evening I went over some of my notes and thought about a few people who are lost in their own personal struggle. By all accounts they are all considered to be unreachable people. I thought about all the reasons to quit or why I might not be cut out for something i’m trying to become.
Sitting at home, quietly on the couch while the terribly scripted drama of a horrible so-called reality show played on television, I received a text message from someone letting me know where they were at. And it might not have been the best of places but at least this man reached out. It only proves at least I reached someone. . .
I’m done trying to gather or rally troops. Even if I have to go at it alone, (which I won’t) then so be it because no matter what, I’m always going to look for the sweep. I’m always going to look to advance my position and even if my back is against the wall or flat on the floor, I’m still going to look for the win.