What Fight Are You Fighting?
What fight are you fighting?
- Depression and constant struggle to find meaning in to your life?
- Heartache from losing a lover or a loved one (whether it be through death or a falling apart)?
- Sadness of living a life in fear or feeling incomplete yet unwilling to make the leap of faith to chase after a dream or vision?
- Battling to find a pathway that seems hidden to the cancer survivor’s eye of piecing together the “old you” with who you’ve become today
- Or the addiction to pornography, alcohol or drugs you struggle with day in and day out…
WE ARE ALL FIGHTERS!
We are all contenders against our own adversaries of our personal fights in life, therefore making it impossible to judge or compare our fights’ scorecard and weight of it to another.
I had the opportunity of meeting Fighter Court “The Crusher” McGee, leading champion in the middleweight division of the UFC at a recent photo shoot I was doing for RIVEN Girls at The Academy where he spars and trains. Court McGee unknowingly presented me with the heartfelt gift of reflection, the reflection of myself I found in him.
Court McGee during the photo shoot was a man of few words but indirectly taught me one of the most valuable lessons in my life to date. I knew very little of this man that I somewhat claimed to know due to my recent invitation to join the RIVEN Girls that market the RIVEN Fight Team that he trains with. Here I am claiming to know someone based off of mere association and I haven’t even touched the surface. Court had probably his biggest fight to date this last Saturday with the UFC since winning The Ultimate Fighter reality show on TV, and he knew it. With the knowledge of what he needed to do and the desire to do it, Court spent the prior weeks leading up to the fight doing what every other professional fighter would have done. That being said he began by practicing, conditioning and strengthening himself. He trained countless hours with his support team to teach his mind and body to handle even the worst of all possible situations that he could encounter inside that awaiting ring. However, what the awaiting ring didn’t quite anticipate was coming, was the drive – the will – the heart that this particular fighter, Court McGee was going to bring into it on Sat Oct 23, 2010. The strength of a fighter who views submission as not even an option to consider [submission (def.): the act of submitting to the power of another; the state of being submissive or compliant, living in meekness; to surrender, yield or to give resignation]. It was the moment Court McGee took a stand for himself and only himself and became a True Fighter and inspiration for thousands nationally as he dedicated his win to everyone battling an addiction…
What is a True Fighter?
Well, ask Court since he broke his hand in the second round, suffered from the odds stacked against him from losing the first round to a more experienced, more “qualified” fighter and then stepped into the third round with a set intention and clear direction on what he needed to do to win.
Court “The Crusher” McGee won by courageously displaying his hunger for life and forcibly submitting his opponent to tap out in the third round. Onlookers were shocked as most had underestimated him as the lesser of the two in that ring that night.
Submission (def.) – the condition of having submitted to control by someone or something else.
We are all at choice…. Shit. It’s the one control we still have left.
The art of fighting is how you choose to get busy living!
The beauty in having choice to choose to govern your own navigation system to your own personal GPS of life – Your direction of “what is” even when we are submitted to throwing our hands and our thyroids in the air and saying “it is what it is”…
“The Crusher” – fighting his own battle against drug addiction that almost claimed his life a few years back mirrored my own fight when he found within himself the wholeness with a broken hand to go on against the failure to himself to submit to the excuses of the fact that he was lacking the support of the crowd, he was lacking a virtual body part, he didn’t have as much experience etc. etc. and took a stand for himself, his life, his battle and said “I’m worth it and I have the direction to prove it to myself.”
Direction is the last bit of energy I barely have at times when its tap out or stand up and fight!
Direction is the peacefulness we as fighters and survivors feel when we embrace and take on the fear of the unknowing.
Direction is the internal knowing and power I possess to control the outcome of this fight, my fight!
Direction is and always has been my only control of throwing that knockout punch, submitting my cancer, my disease to tap out!
Direction is becoming a True Fighter!
So what is a True Fighter?! A True Fighter is Strong, Humble, Spirited, Intelligent, Honest, Authentic, and Seemingly Complicated at times, yet whole, even when missing a body part or two.
The wholeness I found as I lost body parts, more importantly as I lost my thyroid was The Wholeness of Self.
That’s all I really ever had or will have. I don’t need my thyroid to tell me that; if anything, losing my thyroid submitted me to the realization that it’s time to Stand Up or Tap Out. It’s time to start Playing to Win in Life rather than Playing Not to Lose.
I have no room for submission or even the possibility of it in my life. I have accepted, discovered, trained and am beginning to condition myself to embrace life as the new and surgically improved me. I know what I am fighting for now. I Am Worth It!
And there we have it – Court and countless others who have chosen to show up for themselves even when it looks more like someone dragged their tired, misunderstood, feelings of being lonely butts out of bed and tied them up to a sand rail before they choose to Stand Up and Fight, showed me my reflection of me – Ali Riding a Beautiful, Talented and Loving spit ball of fire young woman that it is time to tell cancer to fuck off and start living with or without it. I didn’t come all this way just to sit and bitch about a life I once had because frankly I was never living in the first place. I was living to not lose life itself.
I’m in round two of my boxing career right now. Round two looks so different from the first time in a few ways. One of which is honesty. Honesty with myself. Honesty with acceptance for sometimes it simply “is what it is”. Honestly, its not my job to make people understand the naiveté and misconception of having the “good cancer” – lets hear doctors and individuals say that after they experience it themselves; until then – “it might take balls to fight a fight but it takes a vagina to win one.”
“To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when no one else will.” -Sugar Ray Robinson
Ali Riding, 24 years old, overcoming her round one battle with a female “down south” cancer, only to find her voice after having her neck filleted open during her round two with thyroid cancer.
Tags: Court McGee, fighting cancer, living with cancer, multiple cancers in young adults, Thyroid Cancer in Young Adults, Thyroid Cancer Survivor, ultimate fighting, What Fight Are You Fighting by Ali Riding