The Struggle

Monday November 5, 2018
Patrick Cummings

Mike Tyson had a saying:

“Everybody has a plan… until they get punched in the mouth.”

Here’s the only thing we can be certain of—things will not go according to plan. We are going to get punched in the mouth.

It will happen when our judge loses count. When we get a no rep for no reason. When the monitor doesn’t turn on, the collar slips off, or our shoes come untied. It will happen when we don’t get a full night of sleep, when it downpours, when the traffic is terrible, and when our goggles fill with seawater. It will happen when it’s 110º on the competition floor. When we miss the lift. When we fail the rep.

When the worst thing becomes the real thing.

Knowing things will go wrong is what keeps most people on the sidelines. Most people seek to avoid the struggle.

But we are not most people.

When the fists fly, we charge headlong into the fray. Because we saw the struggle coming. Because we want what’s on the other side more than we want to stay comfortable. Because we know a secret:

That adversity is the only shortcut to greatness, and it’s a far longer road than most are willing to walk.

When most people want to look better, we want to be better. When most people want to play it safe, we want to play it loud. When most people hope for the best, we expect the struggle. and we expect to overcome it.

We know the road will be long and full of twists. We know our faces will become caked with mud. We know we will be tempted to quit, to give in, to stay quiet. We just start and we move and we fight no matter the number of punches that are thrown at us.

Because how do you defeat somebody who refuses to stay down?