Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fighting Spirit

My brother gave me a piece of advice when I was 12 and playing competitive ping pong. (Yes, "competitive" and "ping pong" can very much go together, so stop that laughing, right now!) He told me all successful competitors possess something called "fighting spirit." I didn't really ask him what he meant but vaguely understood it as being equivalent to "never give up."

His advice took me through some hairy moments. I didn't always win but have amazed myself many times at how much further I could go with that attitude than without.

I was reminded of this advice this past weekend when I was competing in the same ring as a 2nd degree, a 3rd degree, and a 5th degree black belt. I walked into that ring believing that I had a chance. I didn't win in the form portion of the competition but I gave my best performance ever. When sparring came, my brother's advice continued to urge me on and I won my first match, against a 5th degree. 

It can happen, writer friends. Our time frame is long; many of us toil over our craft for years without seeing any tangible rewards but keep that fighting spirit. Something good will come from it. Maybe publication, maybe something else. Like kicking someone much higher rank in the head. 


tanita davis said...

*spews tea*

Thank you for that last line - kicking someone of a higher rank in the head is really a personal goal of mine...

I love the idea of a fighting spirit. Yay, you!

storyqueen said...

I truly believe in the fighting spirit...and I kind of think that it's possible to possess it in different ways.

I have a fighting spirit for writing, sporting activities? Not so much.

"toil over our craft...something good will come."



Yat-Yee said...

Tanita: And it's a personal goal of mine to make people spew tea. (not all over your keyboard, I hope. It's really hard to clean between the keys.)

Shelley: I am not an athletic sort but it's still easier for me to practice fighting spirit during the short bursts of competitions and much harder in the drawn-out time frame of writing. Although, trying to train the body into good physical shape so I'd compete better is the same as writing. I guess I need to train the long-haul version of fighting spirit.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

This is the second post today I've read that really is about believing in ourselves, not giving up but trusting.
Congrats on the head-kicking, I think. ;)

Yat-Yee said...

There's something in the air, then. It's good for those of us not blessed with healthy egos to remind ourselves we can trust ourselves. Just had a conversation with my sister and that's something we talked about as well.

Yes, kicking someone in the head during a sparring match is a very good thing. Don't worry, she was well-protected and I merely tapped her head gear with my wee little foot encased in soft plastic/foam footpads.