Grace In Defeat

And The Winner Is… Not me.

Let me out of this ring, let me out of this locker room, let me out of this arena. Unfortunately we all know this feeling, and even though you gave it your all, some nights, that’s just not good enough. As a true competitor, even though you hate losing, on some nights, well, you’re just the loser. That being said, here are some steps to overcome a loss.

First off, wallow in your own self-pity. Four out of fi ve psychiatrists recommend that you do this once a week anyway. So now that you have a reason to cry, take this opportunity to wander around your house in your boxer shorts, keep the lights off, and occasionally lie down to weep in your bathtub, with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s next to you. This will allow you to wash away the pain of the loss, as well as replenish the calories missed while training for your fi ght. Do not at this time go on dates. You will undoubtedly look like a loser, because you have just lost a fi ght, making you a loser. Do not even answer your phone or your door for a few days, just look at the shadows passing by your front door as concerned neighbors sniff for signs of a rotten corpse. Occasionally, go onto your porch just to scream at the sky in despair. If the police show up, return to the bathtub to sob quietly. Do this until you become waterlogged, but don’t leave the tub; instead remain inside in a cartoonish cube-shape.

Next step is denial. You didn’t lose that fi ght. So what if it was thirty unanswered blows to your dome, you still had some fi ght left in you. Mazzagatti is an overprotective buttercup. Oh, went to a decision? Psh, two of the judges were his cousins. Also, don’t forget to tell everyone how you had a hangnail and the fl u, and the sun was in your eyes. It is much easier to make excuses than it is to own up to your shortcomings, so go the easy route. Your job is hard enough as it is, you may as well cut corners where you can. The denial angle also will work when you fi nally gain the confi dence to step outside of your house. Make sure to shave the Grizzly Adams beard you have accumulated, because no one wants to talk to the Unabomber. When girls ask how your last fi ght went, lie and change the subject.

“Uh yeah, went great, ahem, is your dress Dolce & Gabbana? Is that William Hung? How about another drink?” Peel off, and by the time you come back with a sour apple Martini, she’ll be so amazed at your knowledge of fashion and pop culture that she’ll forget that you are even a fi ghter and just be amazed at what type of shape you are in. Please close the deal with her. The serotonin from intimate relations with her may bring you far enough out of your depression to keep you from jumping off the 34th fl oor of the hotel room, even though the promoter only put you on the ground fl oor to save money.

That brings us to the next step in overcoming a loss. The bar. Spend as much time as possible there. Drink yourself into a stupor, and talk to every girl in the room. For every one that denies you, take a shot. Eventually you will run out of women, but that doesn’t matter. There are still drinks to be drunk – when the alcohol doesn’t fi ll your soul and humping sea pigs with mop heads isn’t doing the trick, then by all means, up the ante. No, I don’t mean start mainlining black tar heroin, I mean abuse yourself. Tattoos, piercings, and if that gets too costly, start headbutting the drywall in the house. It has been tested and approved by the cast of The Ultimate Fighter, so it has to be the smartest way to overcome the pain of losing a fi ght. Just try to do it at someone else’s house, so as not to get any blood on your carpet. Buy bottles. What good is money if you aren’t spending it? Don’t really even think about training for another fi ght, and if you do, go to practice drunk. It will simulate being rocked during the fi ght, thus enabling you to work under pressure if your get hit with a good one. It’s science, and you can’t argue with science. Listen; nine out of ten of your favorite fi ghters do this. If you are getting sloppy drunk and beautiful women are still hanging out with you, it is the only logical choice.

At this point, you should have lost any girlfriends you had, so you are going to need something to fi ll the void. Buy stuff. Lots of stuff. Get credit cards and turn them loose. Hand them off to one of the hags you’ve been cuddling with. It’s time to get (and crash) a BRAND NEW CAR! Spend your entire paycheck on a collection of piñatas that resemble cartoon characters or Presidential candidates. Buy the whole series of Transformers action fi gures -the originals, none of this “from the motion picture” crap. Outbid everyone on everything on EBay. You didn’t win the fi ght, but no one is going to beat you at an auction. Diamond pinky rings are not in style but once you bring them back, there will be a revolution. You need something to boost your serotonin levels, and I’ve seen shop-a-holics on the TV show Intervention, so it must feel good on some level. Finally, when you are in debt up to your eyeholes, disappear under mysterious circumstances.

Better yet, leave your driver’s license and a pool of blood on a dock near a major body of water. Do this on a vacation of some sort, and make sure your fi ancé/wife is around to take the heat off you. That Nancy Grace lady is a raging bitch and when your whiny girlfriend gets on CNN, she’ll break down sobbing, despite the fact she had nothing to do with anything, and you won’t care because they don’t have CNN on the boat that you are taking across the Pacifi c.

Aim for one of the ports in Thailand. They have excellent Muay Thai training camps, as well as a wide and wonderful variety of deviance to distract you. This is your new life, and since the old you is dead, the new you can do whatever he wants. Hopefully you collected as much cash as possible. If you were smart enough to have a life insurance policy, make sure that whoever’s name is on it knows what’s going down, so that you don’t end up broke and fake-dead.

Trek through Asia, stopping for weeks at a time to train. Wrestle bulls in Mongolia for strength training, outrun tigers in Cambodia for speed training, and when you make it to India, work on your powers of memory against the native Pachyderms. Then consult a map to get back to a place that non-Asian people reside. Unless you happen to be Asian, in which case hang out, start a family, and open a karate school/noodle shop. If you aren’t Asian, make your way through Russia (don’t stop – it’s all gangsters and ugly hats) straight into Europe. It will take you a while to learn the new language, so you may want to buy audiotapes early on. Small countries always have Judo schools, as well as their own martial arts, so train with them. You will be the best guy to ever come out of Transylvania, and heralded as a conquering hero. Dye your hair, wear contacts, and get fi ve thousand rubles of plastic surgery. You will look like a completely new person. You can then come back to America as the “Ass-Kicking Dracula” and avenge your deceased “American cousin’s” loss. FULL CIRCLE!

If you took a single word above seriously, I would like to commend you on even being able to read. The reality of the situation is that if you fi ght enough, sometimes you lose. Suck it up, take a little time off to lick your wounds and relax, then get back in the game. Improve on your fl aws, be it your game plan, your wrestling, your boxing, whatever it may have been, and prepare for battle once again. If you are a fi ghter, you need to be a fi ghter, in not just your body, but also in your mind. Push through the pain, check your ego at the door, and man up. The other guy always has a reason to quit, so your goal is to give him a good one, all while not giving in you
rself. Every loss is rough, and should be, but if you turn it into fuel for your fi re instead of roadblocks on your path to glory, then you can at least look back and know you gave it your all. Now, just don’t get your ass kicked again.

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