Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fight a Good Fight





Those who have been reading me for a while know that I box. Yeah, in a real boxing gym. 


It started out as an obsession to smack things VERY HARD. Lets just say I had some emotions that begged to be released through my fists, and that punching bags and willing sparring partners have all been my heroes over the last year.


This May marks one year since I started boxing. And I have learnt a few things. Not in the least of which is, if your head isn't there the punch doesn't hurt. Yeah, I have been hit. :)
But here's the thing, this 'blood sport' is far more of a thinking game then I ever imagined. You can have all the strength in the world, all the talent and all the punch combinations down so fast and automatic you could hit in your sleep, but it won't count for anything if you don't believe you can. A boxer that steps into the ring wondering if he can win, has already lost. You have to go in there believing you can, and then put the challenge out to your opponent to prove you wrong. 


Self belief isn't built into a boxer on fight night. It happens behind the scene. It happens when you run past the point of tired and then all the way back. It happens when your arms scream that they can't complete another push up and you tell then they will. It happens every time you reach your limit and then ask more of yourself. 
And every time I accept my own challenge I believe in me a little more. 


So where am I going with this, since I know most of you write or read and leave boxing to the, well, boxers? 


Okay. Consider this. What if writing is one tenth ability and nine tenths belief in yourself? What if you keep on keeping on because that is what writers do. What if you tell yourself you can, you will, you already are? 


Here's what the boxing god Ali said.
"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."

I get that Ali was talking about preparation. But apply it to self belief and you get this:

"The book is breathed into life before it reaches the printed page, far away from witnesses, away from agents, away from editors and long before any fans will ever read you- behind the lines, in your hopes and dreams, in midnight hours at your computer, and in beating back all the jackals in your mind, long before you will dance ever under those lights."

So fight a good fight people. Tell yourself you can. Then put your challenge out there to the world. The worst that happens, as far as I can see, is that you get a re-match. Right? :)


What about you? Fought any good fights lately?

31 comments:

  1. My writing is probably the only thing about myself that I have absolute unquestioning faith in. I do this one thing very well and I know it. As for everything else, well, that's a crapshoot.

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  2. Good for you Shay. I wish I had more of that. At times I know I can write, at other times I need propping up. Life of a writer? :)

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  3. Wow, this is really good. My husband is a boxer in everything he does. Wish I was. Love the quotes and I'll work at this whole behind the scenes belief in my writing thing. :-)

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  4. I think I told you I did kick-boxing for 7 years, and Krav Maga. As soon as I get my breast reduction, I'm going back. It was impossible to feel like a fighter with these melons :) But I am as you Tabitha...needing to smack something, loving to fight physically. I think I do it to avoid hurting others emotionally. Sometimes...it works and my bruised knuckles and bloody elbows remind me to think before I speak.

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  5. One of the compelling features about your blog is its positivity. I like how you link the physical and the mental. There's a certain passion that comes with believing in one's self that infuses a goal with energy. Without that energy, goal completion may come but it's a hallow victory that diminishes the next goal.

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  6. great insight and I LOVE that you box!

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  7. RIGHT! Love the analogy to boxing (or anything, really).

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  8. Wonderful. Words to write by. Thank you, Tabitha.

    Michele
    SouthernCityMysteries

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  9. I feel as if I'm fighting the good fight every single day, in my life life and my writing life. I don't believe in myself every moment. I love the idea of this post. Someone told me the other day, when I said I wished I had 1/10 of their confidence when I was singing to fake it. There's an old saying, "fake it till you make it." That's what I'm doing with my singing and it's helping. Writing, not to much.
    Karen

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  10. Fighting the good fight as we speak. Fighting against negativity and self doubt. Fighting against lack of inspiration and creative fuel. Fighting, always fighting it seems. But I have no choice. If I stop fighting, the jackals win. And I refuse to let that happen.

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  11. I didn't know you boxed, that's awesome.

    I feel like I fight self doubt all the time. I really need to get some weapons against it.

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  12. I recently read George Foreman's book and it was a mental thing for him too. He just kept on going and telling himself he was going to do it. Thanks! :O)

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  13. Tabitha, it was great seeing your name in my comments box this morning. Thanks so much for stopping by. That nudged me to visit you and I'm so glad I did. This is wonderful! Though my productivity appears fairly low recently, I feel as if I am doing what you describe here. There is a deep belief that I have in my writing, and despite measurable success in this past months, recently I've gotten another surge of this positivity that is very exciting, and like you, I believe it's half (or more than half) of the battle. I was a runner in high school, and I remember the day I realized it was all a head game. Wow, did things change then. I couldn't always make it work, but when I did, I knew why. Mind over matter. Belief in myself. The first time I applied that and won a race, I was totally won over to the mind thing. It was amazing. I'm going to try to apply that to my writing endeavors now. Thanks so much for reminding me of where our true power and success come from! It's all within ourselves, far away from the din of the publishing world and all of its demands and expectations. How refreshing!

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  14. P.S. Typo...should be "despite lack of measurable success..." Hopefully that makes more sense.

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  15. Thanks Tab. You put things into a nice perspective. Somehow I missed that you are a boxer. Amazing!

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  16. I love this, Tabitha! What a wonderfully motivational post - and you have to be the first to tie boxing and writing together! :-)

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  17. I love what you wrote when you took Ali's words and applied them to writing.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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  18. Very, very cool post. I love the comparison--it's unique and I NEVER would have thought about the similarities.

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  19. Talk about inspiration! And no, I wouldn't wan to meet up with you in a dark alley! LOL! Maybe in a well-lit coffee shop. ;)

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  20. T. Anne- coffee shop for sure :)

    Thanks everyone for dropping by. Ali thanks you too :)

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  21. I think I would totally enjoy boxing!! I love your quote at the end!

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  22. Tabitha, thank you for stopping by and leaving such great comments. I am always delighted to read your thoughts as well as your responses. I think that writing or any other passion is inspired largely by self-confidence or lack thereof. Talent is a natural, god-given entity that lives within us but the outcome is affected most by our attitude. I guess most of us measure our abilities by success or failure but I've learned over the years to embrace my talent first because anything entrusted to me by Him is going to win in His way, in His time.

    A great read!

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  23. Great analogy and great advice! I've heard so many authors say they finally got an agent and got published only when they truly felt 'ready'.

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  24. Tabitha, this is a beautiful post; a great reminder for me to keep fighting, and importantly, to learn the skills so I can fight a good fight. Sometimes self doubt grips me, but I'm learning still to step forward in courage, and with faith.

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  25. Love how you tie in the Ali quote with writing. It resonates, as does every one of your posts.

    Fight the fight, and keep writing.

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  26. I'm still standing in the writing ring. I guess if I didn't fully believe, I would still be ducking and weaving.

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  27. I love that you box, and I love this analogy. There was a time in my life when racquetball served the same purpose, and the analogy worked there just as well.

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  28. GREAT comparison. I'm putting my boxing gloves on this week. Where's a good punching bag around here? I can do it. Ya.

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  29. Wickedly wonderful post. I'm getting ready to go into the ring right now! I don't think I can take up boxing but hey practising the accordion is also weirdly connected to writing. I'll be back for more of you!

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  30. Oh my word, you are just awesome. I love this post. Partly because it's about boxing and writing, and it intrigues me that you do both, but mostly for the message. Excellently done, good lady!

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