stand your ground

Stand your ground.

One of the key elements in boxing is the ability to stand your ground. In fact, you have no choice in boxing but to stand your ground – if you retreat, you’re no longer in the fight. You may take a couple of steps back after throwing a cross or to avoid a punch, naturally. But you always come right back, place your feet firmly where they need to be, and hold your ground. You do this until the bell rings and a winner is declared.

This sounds obvious when we’re talking about boxing or any type of fighting. But it’s just as, if not more important, to stand your ground in life’s battles. Because if there hasn’t been already, there will come a time when you will be tried and tested, and you will come to see what you’re really made of. So, will you stand strong in your beliefs and convictions? (A lot of people found their answer to that question over the last two years).

When we step into a boxing ring, we bring with us all that we have experienced, our view of the world, and all that we are. The rules of the fight and the basic movements may be the same, but the rest comes down to individual capacity, mental strength, stamina, unique style, rhythm, and focus.

Every fighter is unique, and each must draw not only from his or her acquired skillset and athleticism, but from their well of inner strength. Think about it. A boxer could have all the skill, technique, stamina, speed, and power in the world, but if he goes into a fight without that deeper well of mental and spiritual strength, he’s missing the most important tools needed to win.

Floyd Mayweather always says “take the time to train your mind.” There’s a lot of wisdom in this, but knowing where to begin is another matter. I personally believe that having a solid spiritual life and firm ground upon which to stand with God will ultimately make me a better fighter.

I view my faith as the foundation upon which to build out the rest of my character, especially when it comes to standing my ground when I need to. Because I know that I’m going to be tested and will have to confront fear, not only with boxing, but out in the world. But it’s not enough for me to not disappoint myself or to just be pleased with myself. I need to know that God is pleased with me, too. He’s the ultimate judge, after all.

And as the artist Nick Cave once famously wrote, “everyone loves a good boxing story, especially God.”