Life will knock you down. It is inevitable. You might be lucky, you might be blessed and you might even put extra effort into trying to avoid it. But I promise you as some point, you’re going to find yourself in a battle. The question is, how will you handle the fight?
A friend of mine recently shared something with me. Motivating each other is sort of our thing, so he showed me a picture he has hanging up at work as a source of encouragement. It’s a picture of Mike Tyson’s fight with Buster Douglas. I don’t really know a thing about boxing so he explained the back story as to why that picture packs so much power. Mike Tyson was undefeated and undoubtedly the fan’s favorite. Douglas was the underdog who many described as just a mediocre boxer. Douglas’s mother had been doting on her son, convinced he’d win the fight. The entire world, including Douglas himself, seemed to disagree. Just 3 weeks before the fight she passed away. Douglas was fighting hard, but Tyson managed to knock him to the canvas. Surprisingly, after a 9 second count he made it back to his feet. He went on to win the fight and honor his mother.
WHAT!? I understood why he had that picture up. That story is inspiring and just hearing it made me smile. So I decided to read more about it. As it turns out, losing his mother wasn’t the only hardship Douglas was facing. While training his wife left him, his son’s mother was battling leukemia and he came down with the flu. Tyson had his own problems. He was still engaging in media wars with his ex after a messy divorce and partied all the time. He was also so sure he’d win the fight he admittedly didn’t train or prepare. Two different caliber of fighters step into the ring, each carrying the weight of their own baggage. One over confident and under prepared the other barely hopeful but determined. The results were historical. But what I found most interesting was that my friend mentioned to me had he had coworkers who disliked him having the picture up because they were Tyson fans. Here we are 27 years later and people are still bothered by the fact the underdog showed victorious.
It occurred to me that the entire story was a synonymous depiction of life itself. The only difference is we don’t always know who or what our fight will be or when it will happen, so we must always be prepared. There should never be a time when you are so over confident that you stop training. For me that means being spiritually equipped. I know in order to win any fight my heart must me centered around God. I stay active in my word, I pray, I serve at church. I keep positive people in my corner and I never stop educating myself as I chase my dreams. I train continuously. I’ve also come to understand that things are constantly there threatening to distract me. Busyness, past heart ache and a million other obstacles will try to stand in my way. But how I handle them matters. You can take your baggage into the ring with you and let it distract you or you can use it to push you toward your greatest moment. And understand often, it might seem that the entire world is rooting against you, the underdog. Even if you come out on top, chances are you will still have people who are bothered by your victory. You will still have people who don’t want to give you due credit for overcoming the challenge. But that’s ok. It won’t change the fact that you still came on top. It won’t change the fact you went on to be the winner.
So yea, life will knock you down. It’s inevitable. But there is always time to get back up and keep fighting.