What I Learned From My MMA Fight.
By Justin Adams
Now that I've had a couple of days to reflect on our weekend. I have to say that everything everyone said about fighting was true. There are few things more character-defining. Than being locked in a cage with another man and letting our caveman instincts decide who was better. I confirmed more suspicions. I learned more lessons and earned more stripes in a shorter period of time than in anything else I've done in my life. This is an all-consuming emotional and physical rollercoaster. That gives you a hug and kicks your ass at the same time. And this is what I learned about me.
Tough Does Not Equal Mean. Let's get this straight right away...I'm tough enough to be a fighter. Never in the duration of that MMA fight was I ever hurt Scared, nervous or rocked by anything that other kid did to me. Not one time. For God's sake, I checked out the perfectly round ass of the ring card girl mere seconds before the round started! Maybe it was all the years of strapping myself to angry, 1-ton bucking bulls. Or perhaps too many shots to the head, but I didn't feel anything other than fatigue. And embarrassment. But I did confirm what I always suspected about myself and that's that I'm tough enough to do this. I'm just not mean enough.
I can't flip that switch that puts me in "Mike Alexander" mode and that's alright. I caused more panic in that kid in the 1 round I won than he did to me over the entire fight. Remember my ground n pound in round 3? It more closely resembled puff n fluff on a mid 90's porn set. I fall short in the "desire to hurt people" category, like that's news to anyone. But what I lack in meanness. I make up for in toughness.
Varying Degrees of Toughness. When I talk about toughness. I don't mean "Diego Sanchez walking face-first into punches for 3 rounds, covered in blood and urine" toughness. Mine is different. I can take a shot better than most (and even work through it on occasion) but that's not how I measure my toughness. You don't find me pressing through the pain for one more round. Or seeing how far I can push my body past the point of exhaustion. I seldom engage in knockdown, drag-out mat battles or dick-measuring contests (for good reason). That's just not me. My toughness is made up of an eternal optimism. Of always finding something to laugh about in the shadow of defeat. How is that tough? Because it's what drives me forward, to see what's next. I feel like my life is a National Lampoon movie! And we all know even the worst things aren't that bad when you're having fun. The ability to persevere through hardships with a smile. That's my toughness.
Close Is Never Enough - I come up just shy of the goal a lot. I always have, it's a horrible habit. I hit the mark a lot too. But failure is an ever-present option that makes a booty call at the most inopportune times. I bucked off a bull in the last round of the High School National Finals at 7.97 seconds. I've cost myself tens of thousands of dollars by being on the short end of the whistle a hundred times over. I managed to scare the panties BACK ON the girl of my dreams because of a hasty and drunken congratulatory comment before the deed was finalized. Now I get to add "win MMA Fight debut with my signature move" to that category. I always knew I had that flaw and it showed it's ugly face in fine fashion this weekend. Frank Mir says that the definition of Hell is when you die and you get to meet the person you could have been. I hope he's wrong and it's just more like El Paso. Because that one would take all my toughness to endure.
You Can Never Be Too Prepared - I've known for ages that my cardio sucks; we all know this. We also knew I was fighting a 6'2" black guy at 155lbs. Did I really think running a mile through the hills every other day was going to be enough to keep up with the Kenyan I was fighting? I didn't prepare enough and it was the source of my demise. I was winning the fight everywhere until I got tired. I should have run more. I should have arched my hips during the choke. I should have chosen to stand and slug in the 3rd. I should have up-kicked him in the mouth instead of the stomach. And I should have gone for the armbar one of the 6 times I had the chance. My coaches trained me correctly, I just didn't prepare myself for all possible scenarios. From now on, when I think I've done enough to be prepared. I'll do one more of whatever it is just to be safe.
Quitting - This was never an option. Never did I feel like I wanted to quit and I nearly had to be carried out of the cage. It took me 30 minutes to gather enough strength to put my arms through the friggin sleeves of my shirt. But quitting never entered my brain as a possible escape from the situation. Plus he hit like a girl. I got more bruises from Mike Alexander hitting me with a pool noodle while working the heavy bag. Motivation - Travis knows how to motivate. I'm proud to say I was on the receiving end of the best cornerman's line of coaching in history. The man knows what drives me.
Losing Is For Losers - I didn't lose; I just didn't win. Okay, technically, I have an L on my record but you only lose if you don't come away with something. I learned more about myself and how to get the best out of me last Saturday night than ever before. I'll use that knowledge to cultivate more out of life than the W is gonna do for the kid I fought. That may end up being the greatest night of his life. And if beating me goes in the record books as his biggest accomplishment, I feel bad for him. I've got a lot of good stuff going on in my life and this helped to zoom in on the areas I need to work on. I turned an L into a W, regardless of what they teach on Sesame Street.
While I feel bad about being the lone blemish on our otherwise spotless record. I know I can walk away satisfied. I poured every bit of me out there in the cage. Yeah, I got a little emotional after but technically I never cried. Because I couldn't get tears to come out. My biggest fear was letting everyone down. But I don't think I did because there was nothing left in the tank, trust me. And I'm still a pain in the ass for anyone to deal with for 1 round in the cage.
So for everyone that ever held a mitt. Did a drill, listened to me bitch, punched me in the mouth or kicked me in the shins, thank you. You guys made me better at life and I have a deep respect and admiration for you all. Let's just cut back on the amount of legkicks, please.
By Justin Adams
Justin came back and won his next fight!