It may seem strange to feel grateful for the people who punish you–who hit you, yell at you, and constantly correct you. Yet gratitude is exactly what I feel.
Fighters are well versed in the concept of paying it forward. Someone helps you train for your fight, so you then turn around and help someone else when it’s their time. When you’re the beneficiary of all this goodwill and support, it’s a heady experience. It’s easy to get angry in the heat of the moment, when it seems like nothing you do will ever be good enough and you’re getting hit again and again. But if you let your anger get the best of you, you will miss the point: these people are doing this because they care. They’re spending their time and energy making sure that the pain you’re suffering now will mean less pain in the ring.
Every day of training is a battle against my own mind. My body is so much stronger than my mind will ever be. It’s my mind that tells me I can’t do something, that I’m not strong enough, that I’ll never be good enough for this, that I don’t belong here. My hope is that as my body keeps proving my mind wrong, that little negative voice will shut the hell up.
One saying I have always loved and strongly believe in is this: Whether you think you can do something or not, you’re right.
The next time you’re sure something is beyond your reach, go for it. Try to achieve that goal that seems just slightly beyond your grasp. I bet you’ll surprise yourself with what you can do. There are no limits, except the ones we set for ourselves.
That much I know is true.