With a sharp inhalation of breath, he reeled from the punch. Turning away from his opponent, his knees began to falter, then drop away completely. His arms, only a few milliseconds ago deft and accurate, were suddenly powerless, following his shoulders as they began their descent, just after his hips.
He hit the ground with a slump, swinging forward then backward and ending up flat on his spine, unconscious and utterly defeated. His opponent looked away and lifted both hands into the sky, victorious.
There are many ways that we get “hit” in training and in life. Often, it’s as tangible as the story above. You’re training, trying to improve, doing the best you can, and someone just rocks you. Either with throw, kick or punch, they win, you lose. End of story. In life, it can be a lost job, a lost love, a mistake, a criticism, the failure of a test, being ignored – anything that hurts, really. Emotional hits aren’t often as obvious as the physical, but they cut just as deep and sometimes take far longer to recover from. Whether the last time you got hit was physical or emotional, the best thing you can do is learn from it, become stronger (in some way) and move onward.
I recall not too long ago, sitting in my apartment, having been “hit” by the sudden and unexpected loss of my job. I’ll never know what the true reasons for that loss were, but at the time, I was thinking that I had obviously done something wrong, that I’d approached things in the wrong way, that I’d misread the situation. However – that’s perhaps only true in a small way. There are always multiple sides to every story, and to try and think we can understand them all is a little arrogant. Sometimes it’s that the guy you’re fighting is better. Sometimes it’s because they’re bigger. Sometimes it’s because it’s not a fair fight. Whatever the reasons are, you get hit, you go down, and you try to get back up.
Now, what counts is what you learn from the hit. The nice thing about getting hit, in whatever way it happens, is that you’re fully aware of how much it sucks. You can’t say it didn’t happen. You can’t shy away from the failure, from the reality of your pain. It’s there. It’s now. It’s happening to you right now. That, my friend, is a powerful thing. Because when you can’t ignore something, you have to deal with it. Getting hit is like an alarm clock going off, bringing you back to reality, back to the present moment, in which you are getting hit.
And at that point, you have a choice. You can either learn from the experience, figure out why it happened, and take steps toward not letting it happen again, or you can ignore it, recover slightly, then get hit again, likely in the exact same fashion, perhaps even by the same person. What are you going to do about it? Do you want it to happen again? How can you move forward such that this lesson is now learned? That is your choice, and getting hit puts it right in front of you and yells at you; “choose!”
It’s especially impossible to try and control everything in your life. There’s no way to insulate yourself from loss or pain. There’s no way to guarantee a smooth ride and an easy finish. Sometimes, you get hit. That’s just the way it is. But what you can do is react to the hits that come your way. You can change such that the next time something similar happens, you can dodge the hit, you can block it, you can use it; anything except getting hit again.
And because getting hit gives you that opportunity, it’s not so bad, right?
“This is your pain. This is your burning hand. It’s right here. Look at it.”
~ Tyler Durden