Sparring With An Invisible Opponent

We are all ‘Sparring with an invisible opponent’ of some sort. Be it emotionally, mentally, physically…or all of them coming at you full out. Since I was a kid, one thing has been a constant, training. Before I started sports I was constantly on the go. Once I started sports the ‘go’ was more directed: rope climbing, swimming, track & field, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, wrestling, water skiing, snow skiing…I liked practice and competing! As I started martial arts it was simply an extension of my sports, another form of training. OnceI started competing I wanted to win, so that meant more and harder training. I started to love to push myself and began doing more training on my own. Training became a habit. I learned early on that all you have to do is get up and start…just get up and start! My desire push myself became part of my character, who I was and wanted others to see. I had 26 years of training, competing, Fighting and getting my ass kicked by myself and others to prepare for the fight of my life. I had learned to quell the negative voices, to fight back and submit my inner wuss. I developed the ability, skill and mindset to push to failure and muster everything I had to push a little more. I understood the pain of burning muscles and lungs, of utter fatigue, of sprains, strains, tears, breaks, cuts, and injury. I knew how to push through a lot of pain. I understood victory and defeat, trying and failing, and how to keep going, come back and succeed. I sought out ways to push myself harder, I never backed down…even when it probably would have been smarter. My nature had been forged to fight, push and never give up. I wanted to be an example of hard work and toughness. Well, it paid off when I would get more pain than could ever be imagined, fatigue and pain that didn’t stop. More agony, doubt, fear and emotional, mental and physical warfare than I ever had faced. But, I kept saying, “I might have cancer but, cancer can’t have me” and “I will fight until I live or die, I will never give up or give in” I wanted to live to see my kids grow up. I wanted to live!