Giving Yourself a Break

se“No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change”-Barbara De Angelis

Whenever a journalist asks me the question “who is your toughest opponent?” The answer has always been so simple… ME… it comes out of my mouth naturally. It isn’t rehearsed or thought about. It is the truth. I don’t say it with ego, as in, no one is as tough as me. The truth is no one is harder on me than me. No one can push me to work harder than me. I look at this as me taking responsibility for myself.

I have always been told don’t make excuses. And as a kid I was the queen of excuses. You can ask my father. He would always say, “Maureen has a reason for everything”. My family always told me I should be a lawyer because of my gift to debate why I am right and they are wrong. My dad always told me I will learn the hard way, and I always did.

When I stared boxing I learned that you can make excuses BUT if you do you will never grow or learn anything. So I started practicing acceptance and taking responsibility; definitely not an easy thing to do. It was so much easier to blame something not going right on anything else but yourself. When a fighter walks into that ring they are stripped of everything except the fundamental tools they have developed in their character. Mental toughness, a strong will, determination, willpower, fortitude, endurance ect. What they do or do not do in that ring is their responsibility. Sure they have a “corner” to guide them but it is themselves that must perform and carryout the fight plan set into motion. (It is up to the trainer to set the fight plan and up to the boxer to carry it out.)

I have personally had 2 losses on my record and take full responsibility for them. Losing doesn’t always mean you failed. If you gave your all then you didn’t fail at all. Only you know the truth. For myself, I gave every ounce of my being to each fight. Sometimes there is something higher than yourself that determines the outcome. But what I did do, from taking responsibility for my loss was I chose not to lose and to win by growing from those experiences. This is where giving yourself a break comes in. Sure I was hurt and disappointed after my first loss. It was in the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, on a Top Rank promoted card for the WBA Super Feather weight World Title. That is any fighters dream! I beat myself up mentally and emotionally for days after that fight, even though I trained very hard and fought just as, if not harder. There was something greater than I which decided the outcome of the fight. (Only a fighter and their corner truly know what goes on in that squared circle during a bout.) Then I took responsibility and decided to push on and give myself a break. And that is what I continue to do each and every day while on my journey to achieve my dream.

No matter what your journey is. We are each given a gift from God of a fresh start every day. You can choose to unwrap and use that gift of taking responsibility and starting fresh or you can continue to make excuses as to why things aren’t going right and never move on. It’s all up to YOU! YOU are the fighter in your Ring of life!