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Lessons I learned from being punched in the face

What can someone quite possibly learn from being punched in the face? The answer might be surprising. For me, getting punched in the face taught me far more than the physical aspect of it. Of course, putting your guard up, and tucking your chin are important, but they do not transcend the psychological. Lessons in character development and situational awareness far exceed the physical aspect of taking a punch.

Being punched in the face by total surprise taught me one of the most valuable lessons I would learn. I realized I needed to continue to build and refine a skill, and didn’t know that it would save my life. That skill is no other than situational awareness. The healthy reaction to a sucker punch is to not only look, but to search, scan, and process information. You don’t want to keep your head down looking at your phone or go through life unaware of your surroundings. If you have ever been punched and didn’t know where it was coming from there is a shock that you have to overcome. You have to process what just happened, the environment that you are currently in, and if you will fight or attempt to remove yourself from the current situation. That is too much information to process too fast. The longer it takes you to come up with a plan the less of a chance that you will have to survive and execute that plan. The only solution is to have the best situational awareness you can during times there is a potential threat.

And then there is that good ‘ol dose of humble pie that I had the opportunity to choke down during training by getting punched in the face by someone that I didn’t perceive to be a threat to me. I learned that I couldn’t really judge a book by its cover. Just because you appear to be bigger and stronger doesn’t mean that you are the most skilled and motivated. I faced opponents that didn’t seem threatening to me, and again and again I was challenged. I learned that I needed to treat everyone with respect. I fear no man but respect every single one. You have to because you never know what they are capable of, bad or good. To be treated with respect is what most people desire so why not? The more respect that you treat others with the less chance of confrontation.

How do you know what you are made of if you have never been tested? I learned that I was capable of picking myself back up, and I was determined to overcome the state of weakness I was in, which is essential in developing a warrior mindset. I adapted a mindset that I will heal and will continue to get stronger. I continued to train and become more proficient, more confident, more lethal. I also became comfortable with the notion that the process of being better than I was yesterday is never ending. I also learned that there are others with similar mindsets, the warrior class. The warrior class will rise up in the face of adversity for what is right. The current class of warriors in the United States wear uniforms, those uniforms bear the flag or name of our country. Without them the things that we don’t value will become the status quo. It should be the responsibility of all others to support them because they are willing to suffer the consequences of confrontation on our behalf.

I have learned that all actions have reactions, real consequences. That is why it is difficult for me to comprehend the way people treat each other online or when they are not present. Recently an NFL quarterback posted a picture of himself wearing a weighted vest which was in camouflage and displayed the American flag. The picture was posted with the intent of the athlete to show his fans that he has already begun to prepare for the following season, despite just finishing the current one. Then it began. I saw the post on one platform then again on another and the picture was being reposted and negatively commented on. Unfortunately, I was not amazed by the comments that I was reading but thought why did that picture elicit the reaction and the negativity that it did. Some would say that those comments were made to a professional athlete so no big deal. Those attitudes are similar to those that make comments and spread rumors about others in the workplace or worse yet tolerated among children. I could only conclude that the majority of people making such negative comments online feel that they are free of consequence. I would like to think that this behavior would not exist if you knew you would be punched in the face for it and had the experience to know it isn’t fun or could have been easily avoided by treating others with respect.

For me being punched in the face was not a simple act of violence that left me a victim. It was an opportunity for growth as a human being. I felt the shock of the unknown, an experience that I would feel again, but this time I would be much more prepared. I understood that as a human I was capable of being seriously injured by those that I didn’t suspect. I learned to treat others with respect and avoid situations that would most likely see me taking greater risk when I didn’t want to be. I learned that I would not be afraid or intimidated by those events, instead I would rise up and join the warrior class. A special fraternity of people that are willing to stand up for values they believe in not only for themselves but for that are not capable of doing it on their own. It built the character that I wish more people displayed even though they are not concerned with the consequences - getting punched in the face.

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