I was born one pound, thirteen ounces. The odds were against me before I was born. The doctors encouraged my mother to selectively abort me to ensure the survival of my triplet siblings. However, I am able to write this today because I came into this world fighting. I fought to get here, and I have not stopped since. I believe in fighting to live.
I wake up each morning with a more profound sense of gratitude simply because of the day before. There isn’t one day that passes that I have put down my gloves and thrown in my towel. I believe that there is magic in the fight, and that life is something worth fighting for. I believe that life is not a spectator sport, it is a boxing match.
Just when I think I’ve had enough, something inside me allows me to keep going. Many attribute this to human resilience; however, I know it’s something deeper, something that extends far beyond human nature. I was born a champion fighter. I believe that life should be fought for; it should not simply happen.
During my freshman year of high school, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was undoubtedly the most devastating punch my family and I have ever taken. It was in that same when fight I began my nearly fatal battle with anorexia nervosa. At the time, it seemed like it was my third round and I had been knocked out cold in defeat. When I thought the final bell had sounded and my opponent’s hand raised in victory; I awoke to cheers of encouragement from people all around me. After seeing how strong my mother and family had been, defeat was not an option. I realized that how we spend each day is how we spend our lives. In that moment, I believed more than ever that I would never spend one day not living because life is short. In times like those the fight seems long and hard, but if I’m still in it, I have won. The day I stop fighting is the day I start to die.
Often, my fight has felt as if I am merely contending with a warm breeze on a windward ship; other times it has been filled with adversity and pain. Through my own experiences I have learned that it is in tragedy and despair that I fight my best. My greatest punch is delivered when my back’s against the rope and faith is all I can cling to. In moments like these I am truly alive.
I came into this world fighting and I will leave the same way because my life is a boxing match. I live my life in the ring, and I am in the ring to live. I believe that if I die tomorrow, my gloves will be on and I will be thankful. I believe that I will finally step out of my ring knowing that I have truly lived.
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