A co-worker and I are teaching a mini-unit on Holly Holm, and in class the other day, we watched an interview she gave after she won the fight against Rousey. The interviewer asked about a past fight where Holm was KO’d by an opponent. In that fight, she’d been pushed up against the ropes and pummeled. Not only had her opponent won, but she’d bruised Holm’s pride.
After being KO’d, Holm said what she learned wasn’t necessarily about boxing, “I really learned a lot about myself and about other people.” Most challenges in life seem to be this way. When we’re pushed to a breaking point, it’s then we see the strength not only in ourselves, but in the people around us. We witness who is there to comfort and encourage and who keeps their distance (or even relishes in our faltering). We notice the small and large kindnesses, and we’re able to put our ambition in perspective. In the interview, Holm explained the impact of those who supported her re-match decision, encouraging her to try again. The second time, she won.
Like Holm after that KO fight, a year ago I felt beat up by the process of trying to earn my National Boards, but a number of people supported and encouraged me through another round. Sometimes help consisted of listening through an idea (for the hundredth time!), looking over a draft, or asking questions to challenge my reasoning. Sometimes it consisted of simply saying, “You can do it.”
And, the second time, I passed.
This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for second chances, and all of the people who supported me while earning my Boards. It’s a little moment in a bigger life, but I’m grateful. And like Holm, I know who has my back.
Who are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?