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Views: 4202ADD COMMENT 7 years ago
What is it about sport that seems to offer everyone outside that world to
judge those inside it who do not perform to the level one expects ?
Martial arts being the fastest growing sport in the world is no different, the expectation of greatness in the ring or cage is at all time high, with the word ‚barbarians‘ being thrown around more often than not by spectators, ironically it is those who are screaming ‚kill him‘ ‚knock his head off‘ ‚what is wrong with you finish him‘ from the stands. As if full contact is not enough for people these days the brutality being encouraged in the sport seems to be rife.
Those of us who wake up and complain about going to work on a daily basis and gripe that their performance in their role may waiver from time to time due to factors such as fatigue, restlessness, illness, or plain and simply the fact that we are not content with our current position, so why then is a professional athlete seen in a different light when he or she can not produce the same level of work on a daily basis, they are told they are ‚has beens‘ who need to hang up the gloves so to speak. They are the ones placing more strain and commitment on their minds and bodies in their often short careers than a normal desk dweller does in a entire lifetime but without the same understanding.
A fighter has to factor in everything in the lead up to a fight, during the
fight and the weeks after one, the changes that need to be made to everyday life
is bound to have an effect on their consistency over time.. How many everyday
people spend more than 5 years in a role, now take an athlete who has given
their life to the sport, when do they clock off?
More and more often there are fighters stepping in the ring that aren't ready, but with fights often being few and far between for well known fighters amateur or professional and often then accepted at short notice, not always are bodies ready or minds in a state to perform at the level they have become expected to.
You walk into the ring knowing your not ready, Your tired, your sick, your injured, your over worked and underpaid for whatever reason the song starts, the crowd erupts, your opponent waits… How do you say today I'm just not feeling it? Do you run the risk of stepping in there without your heart in it and getting hurt or do you risk letting the people down who have been there throughout your career to support you? Why does it seem like a lose lose situation…
Because for an athlete it can be!
Sitting ringside at the recent redemption event in Brisbane Qld I was witness to one of Australia's best fighters letting everyone know including himself that he needs a break, early into the 1st round Bruce ‚preacher‘ macfie sat down in the ring, with his corner, the crowd, the officials and more importantly his opponent, Thailand's Nonsai whom
Preacher beat earlier this year for the title staring at him in wonder as to why he wouldn't get up, ‚get up… What are you doing .. GET UP‘ was echoing through the room with nothing more than a shake of the head from Macfie when asked by the referee is he wanted to carry on… The room fell silent as preacher left the ring in silence himself.
What surprised me most in the aftermath both in the change rooms with preacher and his team and in the venue as people walked out in shock,
was while watching everyone tip toe around him not knowing what to say he calmly turns and says simply ‚i just need a break, I need some time off I‘ve done this for 18 years straight' right then you knew it was said with nothing but honesty and in turn with such conviction that you quickly realize unless we are in their shoes how the hell can we ever begin to understand how much it took for him to have to
Make that decision in front of his team, his fans, his opponent, his haters and the cameras.
Already the whispers are circulating about how we have seen the last of preacher, he shouldn't have even been in the ring, his career is over… Ironically we can pick up the phone at 8am and call in sick on any given day that we feel we cant perform at work.. Yet they cannot.
Walking out of venue with Macfie that night and seeing the line up of people waiting for photos was nothing short of humbling for the star fighter, it didn't matter to these people what had just happened, what mattered most was that they came to see a fighter they love to watch and support and obviously respect for at least getting in there… Something the majority of people do not have the consideration to offer the same.
When I asked preacher how he felt and what happened he was his usual straight up honest self ' I had never felt so good warming up out the back, but as soon as I got hit I knew my heart wasn't in it. I had been questioning myself since before the Moxon fight and I knew I needed a break, but how do you let people down who believe in you? Leaving and being asked for photos I felt like a dick, wondering why they would bother after what I had just done, but with the calls, and messages from the people who matter most in my life made me realize I might have made a decision at the 11th hour and it might not suit everyone but it was right for me and it took me to feel that at that exact time to know what I had to do, so I did it'
It brought me to the age old saying ‚try walking a mile in his shoes and only judge him then‘
Seeing the impact that his bas had on other athletes is a clear indication that preacher may have ‚dogged it‘ as his haters put it but should we rather be congratulating and respecting someone for being honest to himself, his fans and more importantly his opponent who deserves a fair fight, no body wants to be handed a title, they are fighters… You want to battle for it.
So the next time you go to complain about how you just don't feel up to it today have some consideration for those who you scream at and ridicule for doing the same, we are human after all and a little bit of respect and compassion for people who offer us such entertainment can go a long way.
Everyone here at Cornerman and the fight world will be eagerly awaiting the return of one of Australia's best and most colourful fighters :)
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