My life was changed recently by a comment made in passing during a wrestling class: “Whoever fights hardest wins.” It wasn’t changed in a major way, but it prompted me to make some little adjustments in the way I approach life and fights.
How it relates to life is thus: no one is going to give you what you deserve, any more than an opponent is going to willingly give you their chin, leg, back, or whatever it is you need to win. The people around us all put demands on our time that reflect their own interests. If you don’t stand up for what is important to you, no one else will, and you will find yourself swamped by tasks that you “have to” do for others, and be poisoned by resentment as you do them.
It’s human nature that your partner is going to value having their dinner on the table over your desire to get fit. Your boss will be more worried about completing the next project on schedule and in budget than the fact that you’re so chronically stressed that you’re bordering on adrenal collapse. It’s not someone else’s job to notice that you deserve the things that you want. It’s your job to realise that you deserve those things, whether they be a promotion, good health, your own business, or time to exercise.
It’s your job to have enough self-respect to commit to the actions which will make your dreams a reality, to set boundaries on your time and resources to allow you to do these actions consistently, and to defend those boundaries by saying “I would love to, but NO” to requests which are going to impinge on your schedule.
So tell me again that you don’t have time to train, don’t have money for classes, or don’t have the energy to prepare healthy food. What you’re really telling me is that you don’t love or respect yourself enough to make your goals a priority. Sometimes, we are given opportunities. Sometimes, we are lucky enough to have a partner or a friend or a colleague or a coach who is supportive of what we want to achieve. When we don’t, we need to go after the things we want like a predator after prey. “Whoever fights hardest wins.” That’s not just fighting to pin someone, that’s fighting to say “NO” to the people around you so that you have time to exercise, fighting to say “NO” to that person who insists you have an extra piece of cake that you neither want nor need, and it’s fighting to say “YES” to training sessions, “YES” to investing a little time in preparing nutritionally-balanced meals and “YES” to living longer, being stronger and looking your best.
No more excuses and no more blaming other people for why you “can’t” train, eat well, sleep enough, or whatever. If you want it, just take the shot.