My last fight was war.
I could go into every detail of each round, but there's better things to talk about. Before this, my last fight was in October and I spent months mentally and physically preparing. I was in the leanest, strongest and most flexible shape of my life.
This fight? I was not. I was not lean, strong, fast or flexible. I was out of shape, simple as that.
While I put my name down early in the year for these charity fights, the chances of finding me an opponent were looking slim. Then, 3 weeks before the fights, I got confirmation: we've found you an opponent. I struggled literally up until the day before whether or not I would take the fight. I had said yes, but all I felt was fear and uncertainty.
I'm not in shape. I haven't trained for almost 5 months. I'm not mentally prepared. It's 7 hours away. The chance of losing is too high.
The negative thoughts and doubts and fears were my constant companion.
Here's the truth: By all of my own standards, I wasn't ready for this fight. But you know what's also true? I needed to take a chance. I needed to risk losing in order to get some incredible insight into my own abilities.
I have big goals with fighting, not necessarily to be a professional, but to get to a level of athleticism and competition I have never encountered. While I may not have been as ready for this specific fight as I would have liked, this was a critical stepping stone in my journey to becoming a world-class fighter.
It allowed me to see how I perform when I'm exhausted and my natural tendencies when my stamina runs out. Yes, I technically won. I wasn't particularly proud of how I did, but I was proud of doing it, especially in the face of so much self-doubt.
Very rarely in life will the circumstances be perfect. More often than not, you will be cast into a situation and feel utterly and completely unprepared. Be brave in those moments. You're right, you may not be as ready as you could be--but never let that stop you. Keep your eyes fixed on your end goal and keep moving forward. Take a chance on yourself, risk your ego or in my case, even injury, to get an honest look at where your strengths and weaknesses truly are.
Now, I feel the fire; I'm ready to attack my weakness and build upon my strengths. I am now able to move forward in my training with real world insight into what's working and what isn't. I have a battle plan.
So when you're faced with your next challenge and you're certain you are unprepared--take a chance. Moments like mine, and like many I'm sure you've faced, are incredibly powerful lessons. It takes an immense amount of courage to own our shortcoming, but the reward is always greater than the risk.
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