What were the most powerful moments of my professional fighting career?
The media praise? Winning at the highest level of the sport? Losing bad on live television with nowhere to hide? The grinding training sessions? Nope, none of these. While they were all powerful and growing experiences, they don’t top the list.
The most powerful moments of my career, and my life, were those few, lonely, soul-searching moments spent in the shower immediately following my fights; the moments that no one can see, or ever will. It was ME, The Man in the Arena. Each time, I was totally spent emotionally. Crying out of joy or heartbreak, all that weight was lifted from my shoulders. They were some of the most real, raw moments of my life. (Refer to the movie Southpaw with Jake Gyllenhaal for a good glimpse). In those moments, I was OK with carrying the weight of a victory or a defeat because I controlled my destiny. I live my life that way.
It takes some major cojones to be The Man in the Arena, and it doesn’t always work out well. But what it does give you is peace of mind, and that is priceless.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Stay the course and remember that even the best fall down sometimes; they just keep getting back up.