It was March 5th, 2007, my 38th birthday. I was feeling old, tired, sluggish and out of shape. Call it a mid-life crisis, or what ever you want to call it, but I came up with a wild idea of how to change the way I was feeling. Instead of spending my birthday celebrating with family and friends, I walked into the closest boxing gym to my house and announced, "I want to fight."
The trainer at the boxing gym did think I was "a little nuts" for taking up boxing at the age of 38, but he was game to show me how to train as a boxer.
I trained for 9 months. My body weight dropped from 300lbs to 265lbs and I got in really good shape. Boxing training sessions of 4 hours a day, 7 days a week will tend to do that.
During those 9 months I never did fight in an actual professional boxing match, but I did do 4, 3-round sparing sessions against professional boxers. All in all, it was a great experience, even though I did break my nose.
About 6 months into the 9 months of training, I was talking with a friend of mine. He was asking me about this "boxing phase" I was in, as he called it. At one point I said, "My trainer says he can show me the basics of how to fight, but when I am in an actual fight it will come down to one thing." This sparked my friend's interest and he said, "What is that one thing" My response, "Balls . . . Balls".
My friend gave me a strange look and said, "Joel, you sure do get yourself in some "interesting" situations". My response was, "I am not sure if you meant that as a compliment, but I take it as one. Yes, I do like to walk the razor's edge because that is the only time I feel truly alive."
I encourage you to walk the razor's edge once in a while. Sometimes, to spark real, actual positive change you have to get "a little nuts" and take a risk.
I have always been a bit of risk taker. Sometimes taking those risks has paid off big time, but also, sometimes, I have paid a heavy price. But that is alright. There has to be a price you can potentially pay for taking a risk. Otherwise, everyone would do it.
Most people fear pain more than they want pleasure. For most people, the fear of failure outweighs the potential joy of success. I encourage you to switch those two feelings around. Try to condition yourself to value the joy of success more than your fear of failure. The saying, "No risk, no reward." is very true.
Most successful people have failed many times. It is their response to these failures that separates them from most other people. Instead of saying, "Well, that didn't work. I should just quit.", they say, "Well, that didn't work. GOOD, now I know not to waste time on that method anymore and I can try something else to reach my goal." They never quit and they don't mind failing. Successful people see failing as a valuable part of the process to eventual success.
I hope I have encouraged you to take some risks in your attempts to spark meaningful and positive change in your life. Life is short. Isn't it time for you to walk the razor's edge?
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