Hey everyone! Long time no see! Literally. I found out I have had pinkeye and it got really bad. But I’m back and God gave me this story to share. I apologize for any grammar mistakes. I hope you enjoy!


“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”

Revelations 3:10-11 NKJV

The fighter laid on the ground after losing the fifth and final fight of the night. His body was sore, his vision was filled with blood, it hurt to breathe, and his lip was touching his teeth. Still he knew he had to get up, rest, train, and fight another day. Slowly he tried to lift himself up, but his arms trembled and he fell back to the ground. Not knowing what else to do, he cried out.

“Help.”

It was more of a breathy whisper than a cry. The fighter was sure no one heard. He closed his eyes to accept and get comfortable with another night on the floor. But then he heard footsteps. The fighter opened his eyes to see someone over him.

“Ready to get up?”

The fighter nodded. The man held out a scarred and calloused hand. Without hesitation the fighter took it and was hoisted onto his feet effortlessly. Then the man proceeded to shift the fighter’s weight onto himself, yet leave the fighter standing. It was an odd experience, but for the moment, the fighter focused on the relief.

“Thanks, man.”

“No problem. Standing can be hard after any fight.”

“You a fighter?”

At the fighter’s question the man paused before shaking his head.

“I’m a survivor. I’m still standing.”

“Wish I could.”

The fighter’s huff gained an odd gaze from the man. The fighter was unsure how to read it or what to expect from it.

“Do you want to learn how to stand?”

And that’s how it all started. The man’s question sparked the fighter’s teaching under the man. There were other, better, fighters in the class too. And the all signed up for some tournament the fighter knew he was not going to win. There were too many fighters in the pool, let alone the class. There were wide fighters, tall fighters, skinny fighters, and round fighters. All better than the fighter himself. Still the man gave all the fighters the same four basics: learn, focus, commit, and get back up.

They had to be ready to learn at all times and in each moment. They had to focus on their training so that they may be ready at anytime. Any action they made, they must fully commit to because they could not undo it. Finally, they had to get back up no matter how many times they fall and no matter how much help they asked for, they just had to get back up. For a fall was just another way to learn how to get back up.

At first the fighter was confused with these basics. They barely seemed to focus on fighting. Many fighters left the man’s class after learning about the basics, not understanding them or not liking them. The fighter stayed.

He stayed, and learned very quickly, the man had a different approach. He gave them books and materials to learn from. He talked them through strategies, and encouraged questions and demonstrations. But every practice, the man ensured that there was enough time for each of the fighters to fight him. And after each and every fight, the man was left standing and the other fighter was on the ground. This also happened to the fighter, many, many times.

Week after week, day after day, and practice after practice. Soon, many more fighters dropped out. they were tired. They were tired of being helped. Tired of the constant hard work but no reward. Tired of constantly losing. They were just tired. The fighter was tired too, but he did not leave. He had yet stood after a fight like the man.

Five fighters were left in the man’s class: the fighter, a tall fighter, a round fighter, a strong fighter, and short fighter. The tournament was coming up. The mysterious benefactor of the tournament revealed that he was giving an enormously large and life fulfilling prize. The tournament’s winner was based on who could stand in all of the fights.

The fighters reminded the man of the tournament and begged to be teach on more specifics of fighting. But the man stuck to his basics. The tall fighter became irritated with learning things they all already knew and left to practice alone.

The next to leave the class was the strong fighter. One day, the strong fighter became distracted by a notification on a phone and twisted a knee. The twist ended up tearing many ligaments in the strong fighter’s leg. The man offered to teach the strong fighter a different way to fight. But discouraged, the strong fighter withdrew from the tournament completely.

The round fighter was simply drawn away by a sponsor with money and a program that suited the lifestyle the round fighter wanted.

The second fighter to leave didn’t leave so much as could not join the tournament. It was the short fighter. One day, a hesitation to hit another fighter resulted in the short fighter getting hit harder and faster. After that hesitation, fear entered the short fighter. The strategy of the short fighter’s fights became to attack fast and hard first, or not fight at all. The man warned the short fighter to change the strategy before it caused damage but the short fighter didn’t. When the short fighter decided to attack the man fast and hard, the man was left standing, while the short fighter never stood back up.

After that, it was just the fighter and the man. Still, practices were the same. The fighter read, watched, and asked questions. The man explained and gave demonstrations, and then they fought. And the man was still always standing while the fighter still ended up on the ground.

“I don’t understand. How am I doing all the basics but still losing?”

“Losing and winning aren’t the end goals of the basics.”

The man’s quiet statement floored the already floored fighter. After a minute of pondering, the fighter put his hand up.

“Help?”

Before the fighter could finish, the man took the fighter’s hand and lifted him to a stand.

“Winning and losing says that only one can stand. Therefore, you’re only focused on making the other person fall to ensure that you’re the only one left standing. But if you’re only focused on standing, learning how to stay standing and get back up to stand, you stay standing longer and longer. It’s less about winning or losing and more about lasting. Then when you last the whole fight and see another fighter down, instead of thinking that you’re the only one who can stand, you reach out to help others stand with you. You can be survivors together.”

The man smiled at the fighter and suddenly, the fighter felt hopeful. He followed the man, learning more than before.

Soon the tournament began. Many fighters came to participate. All were shocked to see the man as the mysterious benefactor. The fighter as well, but he also felt more prepared. The tournament began. The only qualification was to be standing at the end of the fight. The fighter remembered what the man said, and focused on standing. During each of his fights, he was left standing. He even fought some of his old classmates. Even in those fights, the fighter was still standing.

In the end though, the tournament was down to the fighter and the tall fighter. They were sore, bruised, and battered like the bags they practiced on, but both were determined to not go down. Though the tall one planned to do that by ensuring that the fighter fell. He didn’t. The fighter stayed standing. Again and again. The tall fighter used everything, but the fighter stayed standing. The tall fighter knew one last trick to get the fighter to fall. But it would also cause the tall fighter to fall. The tall fighter committed to the move. If it worked, at least both of them would lose.

But it didn’t work. The fighter stayed standing as the tall fighter fell. The tall fighter knew that this was it. The fighter won and the tall fighter lost. But before the clock struck time, something held up the tall fighter.

The fighter held up the tall fighter.

“The only rule is to stay standing, not that there’s one winner.”

The fighter smiled. The tall fighter looked, and behind the fighter were his opponents. Most of them were still standing. The tall fighter looked back at the fighter.

“Don’t you want to win?”

The fighter paused, then shook his head.

“I want to be a survivor. I want to still be standing. Do you want to learn how to still be standing? I know a great teacher.”

The fighter smiled up at the man who smiled back.

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