On Monday, I was waiting in a chiropractor’s office to see if my tibia was fractured. As the doctor reviewed my x-rays, I held my breath.
When he told me the leg looked good, it was a huge relief. I’ve been down this road before…so close to fighting, only to break my wrist.
If it had been fractured, it would have been game over for me. Maybe some people would fight with a fractured leg, but I’m not one of them. I don’t want this bad enough to sacrifice my long-term well-being (although I’m probably already doing that, to some extent).
What troubled me was realizing that–as relieved as I was to be able to keep going–I also would have been relieved to stop. And this made me question everything.
My emotions seem to change daily when it comes to fight camp. On some days, I’m determined to do this and looking forward to stepping into that ring. I am proud to think of myself as a kickboxer. On others, I wonder why I want to do this, or whether I actually want to at all.
One of my fellow fight campers loves getting hit in the face. I can’t say I feel the same. There are many things I love more than getting hit in the face. For that matter, there are many things I love more than hitting others in the face.
I’ve been questioning whether or not I am a fighter. I spent some time thinking about everything I’ve survived in my life. And then I remembered one of my closest friends from childhood.
He was small for his age, but smart, and his diminutive size didn’t stop him from speaking his mind. The end result was that other boys were always trying to kick his ass. As fearsome as my friend’s temper was, the most intelligent course of action was to run like hell. So while he ran, there was often only one thing standing between an ass-kicking and freedom.
I was fiercely protective of my friend, and I didn’t give a rat’s ass who was threatening him. I boldly stepped in front of larger guys, meaner guys, and stronger guys. And I didn’t back down. Eventually, they got tired of wrestling with me, and they left my friend alone. I don’t remember getting hurt (although mud balls filled with glass were thrown at us one time–ah, the sweet innocence of children!), but even if I had, I know I would have stood my ground the next time. Because that guy they wanted to tear apart was my friend. And no friend of mine was going to get hurt on my watch.
So maybe I’d rather be your friend than beat you up. Maybe I’ll use words to find a solution before I’ll ever use my fists. Maybe I’ve seen the damage abusive people do, and would rather die than become one myself.
But when something counts, I can–and will–stand and fight for what I believe in. And that’s all that matters.
What brings out the fight in you?