I love to box (as in getting in the ring and fighting). To be transparent, it would be gracious to say “I’m an amateur”, it’s more of an outlet than something I’m competitive in. Over the years I’ve learned a ton of life lessons through training and sparring with some amazing fighters. There’s one fighter that taught me a valuable lesson that I had to learn the hard way. It’s a lesson that I learned throughout a couple of sparring sessions that left me frustrated and full of excuses.
I’m 6’0” and about 215 pounds. That technically puts me in the heavyweight class of boxing, which is 200 pounds and up. This isn’t a fun place to be when you’re at the low end of an unlimited weight class. To put it into perspective, the smallest guy I’ve sparred within the weight class was 240 and ripped.
One day a guy weighing 265 pounds and standing literally 6’8” approached me and asked to spar. Why… Why did I say yes? I still don’t know what I was thinking. But what ensued for not just that sparring session but many to follow was the following.
He would use his ridiculously long reach to hold his lead hand in front of my face to block my view. As soon as I would try to get around his lead hand he would drill me with his other hand. If by chance I was able to avoid the initial pounding of my face I would find myself way out of range of landing any punches myself. He would reset his distance and start all over again. This went on session to session. Why did I keep saying yes to him? No clue. But I did. Which brought me to my day of triumph… kind of.
Hit ’em Where It Hurts
One day me and the big guy were going at it and I simply had enough of his glove in my face. So I did something that's not necessarily sportsman-like (not illegal, just not nice). I hit his extended arm in the elbow. Which hurts like crap when it's extended. It’s not a nice move because it can hyper-extend your opponents arm. But, I was done with his antics. He put his arm back out as usual and I did it again. A third time he put it out and I did it again. And then it happened… After the third time, he kept his arm back in a more traditional stance. For the first time, I could finally, fully see him and that changed everything. To fast forward to what eventually happened, I was able to start landing punches to his body which in turn started opening up punches to the face. I was now fighting back with a giant who had been owning me for almost a year.
I learned something about life through the multiple sessions I had with this fighter. Many times we can look at the obstacles and challenges in our life as unconquerable giants. Giants that are simply too big to take out or go around. If we’re not careful we’ll accept that it’s not something we should “be in the ring with” and quit. But there’s a way if you don’t give up. The way isn’t going to be what you can see right in front of your face. It might not be what you can see once you get past what's right in front of you. But there’s something. Somewhere on your giant there's a place to hit to chop him down a little. Then after that, there will be something else you can hit to bring him down a little more. Eventually, with a plan, consistency, and patience you’ll get a chance for the knockout punch.
Why Aren’t You Fighting?
We’re obviously not all about to go start some random street fight. But what about taking the fightback from the obstacles and challenges that have formerly discouraged you? Is there a goal that has gone unmet because it seems to lofty? Is there a valuable relationship that seems lost because the damage or distance seems to have grown beyond reconciliation? Maybe you haven’t stepped into what you feel purposed to do, because the “fight” seems too dangerous to enter?
Go Start a Fight
What’s a “Giant” in your life that you have given up on or maybe not even stepped into the ring to fight?
What's the lie/excuse that you keep telling yourself that has stopped you from moving forward against this giant?
Invest some time here and really think. What’s the truth about my situation? Is there something I can “hit” that would chop this giant down, even if it’s just a little?
Is there something that I could do after that initial small victory that would chop the giant down a little bit more?
Now, come up with a plan of small “hits” that could eventually bring down this giant (debt, depression, anxiety, lost relationship, addiction, lack of self-worth, etc.)
Who’s in your corner? Who can you recruit to be in your corner to encourage you and check in on your progress? This is a great time to be vulnerable with this person and let them know how serious this giant is in your life and how serious you are about taking it down.
Go start a fight. One hit at a time.
Don’t get lost in the enormity of your opponent. Focus on what you can hit and go for it with courage. Remember it’s a fight, you’re going to get hit back. You’re going to be tired at times and in some rounds of life, it might not look like you’re winning. Don’t worry, because that’s not your aim! Your aim is one hit at a time! Stand up and go hit that giant where it hurts!
I hope this has added value to you! As always if you have found this helpful please subscribe and share to the Strong and Steady! You can also follow me on Instagram at @raymillsap