Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"the hEarT of a LiOn"...

My toes were curled...my hands balled into fists...oh, I was so tense! Every week I tune in to watch one of my favorite shows, "The Contender"...a boxing competition. I'm yelling...hoping...wishing...encouraging someone to win that doesn't know me...will never meet me...and can't hear me. "GET HIM! KNOCK HIM OUT!", I plead with my eyes glued to my TV screen. Then, the bell rings...it's over...the one I was cheering for has lost. I knew it before the referee announced the decision. This man...this boxer...this warrior...lost the fight...but he was certainly not a "loser" in my eyes.

I love to watch boxing and I hated that the fight didn't end in the way I wanted it to. I usually tend to cheer for the underdog...sometimes they pull through and surprise everyone with a win and other times they don't...either way...I express a lot of emotion. I'm either jumping up and down screaming, "YES!" or I'm ranting about how my fighter coulda won. Last week, there were a couple of things that occurred during the show that really got me thinking. This man I was cheering for, was in the worst physical shape of any of the boxers. It was obvious even just by first appearance. Amazingly, when he was called up to fight...to "tow the line"...he did so willingly...without any hesitation or fear. I wondered, "Is he brave...or stupid?".He was determined to give all he had and he did. He fought like a true warrior...as if it were the last fight he would ever have...as if his life depended on it. He was shorter and weaker, but he didn't just fight, he went to battle and gave it all he had. After the fight, one of his fellow "contenders" said to him, "Man, you have the heart of a lion! I'm proud of you. You have NOTHING to be ashamed of.".

Many times, when the losing boxer returns to the locker room to be interviewed, he is sad or frustrated or regretful. Sometimes, they even cry...these big strong men...they cry...they express regret. This man did not. He fought in a way that allowed him to hold his head high and make no excuses. When his children came in to see him, he sat them down and taught them. He didn't cry or ask their forgiveness. He told them that he gave it all he had, and he told them that in life they should always fight for what they want...that they should go after what they want with all they have. They didn't lament his loss or hang their heads...they were so proud of their dad...and rightfully so.

There was one comment this boxer made at the end that made me reflect upon my own defeats in life. He said, "If I had had one more round, I coulda had him." I think about the times when I lose...when things don't go according to plan...when life "knocks me out". How do I react? My first instinct...my natural instinct...is to give up...feel bad...change direction...think of myself as a loser. I'm not there, but I'm trying to learn to have the "heart of a lion". I want to live my life in such a way that even when I am defeated, I can hold my head high with no regrets...knowing I fought...knowing that I gave it all I had and feeling good whether I win or lose.

I sat down to watch my favorite show...to be entertained...but I learned something and gained a new resolve. I made a decision. I want to live as a warrior...with a brave heart...and an open mind. I want to live in such a way that even when I am defeated, others will say of me..."She has the heart of a lion."

1 comment:

s said...


You do have the "heart of a lion". I just wish that you could see that in yourself. You really do everything you do with determination and perfection. You don't stop until everything looks perfect. I know because I've seen this all of my life! If I had just an ounce of the natural talent and drive that you do, I would be so happy. It's really hard to not compare yourself to other people, especially ones so close to you. I watched you in school, just show up when you wanted, not take notes, and always end up with good grades. I've seen you make a paper school assignment into an elaborate work of art. The list can go on. . and on. . .I've always compared myself to you and that's always made me try harder. I know I can never achieve the same level of performance that you have, but I see you as you see the boxer! I love you and don't know what I would do without you. s