How would you feel going into a fight that you know you are probably going to lose? Would you still compete? One of my competitors at the upcoming tournament is my teammate Sara, aka The Golden Child. She is a naturally gifted athlete who has twenty-one years of total martial arts experience, compared to my six. She is also fourteen years younger than I am, and almost a year ahead of me in jiu-jitsu training. No one thinks I am going to beat her, not even me.
Yet, I am going to stand across from her and give it my all. I am not going there to “win”, I’m going there to learn, to grow. I’m going into it fully aware that my ass will probably be handed to me, but I am not afraid. There are no expectations on me.
It would be much easier for me to not challenge myself in this way. No one would care if I didn’t compete. I could stay in my comfort zone, and not put my ego through such a struggle, but I would gain nothing from that. The way to grow is by taking on things that make you uncomfortable, by pushing yourself to do things, even though there’s a good chance you may fail.
I’m not going into this with a defeatist attitude, and lose the match before it even begins. I am going to fight to the best of my ability, but I know that it’s more than likely that her best will exceed mine. The fact is, it really doesn’t matter to me at all. Whether I get a medal or not, I have already won- simply by having the guts to do it. Anything else I learn along the way is where the true reward lies.
“Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.” -Anais Nin