This is not the feeling of “winning.”
This is not the feeling of getting what you wanted.
This isn’t even the feeling of going through a “tough time.”
A K.O. punch takes months, if not years to prepare for and accomplish. A knockout punch usually takes quite a bit of getting beat on, because a knockout punch comes from the soul.
Physically, it’s quite rare for someone to win over and over again solely on brute strength. This is something we all know. Even acknowledging that fact, for some reason our minds only register the “end results” of someone’s struggle for success. For instance, we mainly see this photo:
We see the knockout. The 8th round is forever celebrated.
We forget that he was stripped of his title and license for almost four years for taking a stand against the war by not complying with the draft.
We ignore that he was not only champion, but had to run a gauntlet after not fighting for that same amount of time just to get to George.
On top of that, he had to endure another eight rounds of this, the picture rarely shown alongside the one above:
A knockout punch in the actual ring feels just as it should. Earned. Not given. Taken.
I insist that one can never know how far he or she can go until they put themselves in the position to find out.
I’ve experienced a knockout firsthand. It wasn’t expected. I’ll be honest, as it was happening it was as if time slowed to a crawl. A crawl that allowed me in that split second to remember the visions I’d had during training. The visions in which we always see ourselves winning by knockout, and we realize, this here is our moment.
When the opportunity presented itself, I was in the right place at the right time, ready for the opportunity.
I took it. Except this knockout was a different type that very few men have known. I had always heard of the Roberto Duran story, but had never even pictured that my victory moment would be one in which my opponent said, “No more.”
When I realized I had indeed reached out and taken my victory, through the hands of possible defeat in the first round, to finishing in round three, it was unlike any feeling I had ever felt.
The absolute feeling of accomplishment, of outlasting the trials, the pain, the hunger, the training, and aerobic strain that I thought would kill me, was something that I knew had ultimately made me stronger.
We’ve all had those things and moments in life that sucked. Moments that we thought would kill us, moments of pain that we thought would never end. At the end of every struggle is a victory waiting to happen. A victory unlike any that we could have imagined. But one must be fearless, persevere, and have faith that all of the hard work will eventually turn into good.
If one can do those things even when it seems the world is crumbling around them, they will stand tall with their hands raised at the end, in complete and deserved victorious moment.