Smokin Joe Frazier died last night. Here's a great article about him from ESPN's Wallace Matthews which I want you to read, and I won't re-hash, but its a sad day for fight fans. I grew up a fan of Muhammad Ali (though I never saw him fight live) not only because he had the ability to say whatever he wanted and back it up, but also because every time he lost he got back in there and won the belt back. Whenever someone hides behind the 1st Amendment saying they can say whatever they want, I've long said that you can say whatever you like as long as you can take the punch in the face that comes with it. Ali could. And as the saying goes, the greatness of men lies not in never falling, but in rising each time they fall. In my eyes, that's what made Ali the Greatest.
But just like any great story, the hero is only as great as his villain, and a champion is only as great as his rival. "The Fight", in which Frazier beat Ali to retain the Heavyweight title is probably the single greatest sporting event of all time. Here were two men, the best in the world at what they do, literally putting every ounce of everything they had into this bout. After the fight Frazier spent a month in the hospital and almost died as a result, and he would have if that's what it took to win. The world just doesn't see that anymore.
Miss January Anna Sophia BerglundMake sure you understand that I'm not calling Frazier the villain here, but that defining rival. When you watch the highlights of his fights what stands out is that he always seemed to be a head shorter than his opponent, he always had less reach, too small to compete at that level... but he kept coming.... and coming.... and coming...
Miss February Kylie Johnson
And this is how it connects to me personally. Now, I'm not trying to put myself on the level of Frazier/Ali, that's just ridiculous; I'm a weekend warrior at best. But all my life all I ever wanted to do was play ball. Most of the time its still all I want to do, I only write because its how I express myself, its who I am. Growing up though, I was a halfling. When I graduated High School I was 5 feet tall and just over a hundred pounds. I was always too small to compete, so if I wanted to stay in the game I had to keep coming.... and coming... and coming....
Miss March Ashley Mattingly
After high school I shot up, but I still have that same mentality, like the little guy, and I guess because of it to this day I'm either all in, balls to the wall, leaving everything (including body parts) on the field, or I just simply couldn't care less and don't even bother. I've hurt myself so many times in so many ways over the years that I can't even begin to tell you. Once I played football with a hole in my head the size of a quarter. I ripped my nostril almost completely off playing handball. That nose is broken in a million places from all the fights I've gotten into to the point that I only breathe out of one side of it. Right now I'm pretty sure my right shoulder is separated and my right foot is dislocated, and they're definitely not the way they're supposed to be, but finding out would mean I can't play ball, and fuck that! So I suck it up and deal with the pain, and keep coming... and coming.... and coming...
Miss April Jaclyn Swedberg
This injury of mine isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but despite all of the ways I've mangled myself in the past, its the first time in my life I can't just deal with the pain and get back on the field. I have to come out of the game and fully heal. I can't just barrel through and keep coming.
Miss May Sasha Bonilova
And as I thought about it, I've lived my entire life the same way. Emotionally, I've never taken myself out of the game whenever life threw me a beating, and there have been a great many, to let myself recover. I've never let myself heal before getting out there, I just wrapped up whatever it was that was giving me pain and kept going. And just like now, when there's no new game to try to win, nothing out there to go after I don't know what to do with myself.
Miss June Mei-Ling Lam
Trouble is.... you can't go all out, give it 100%, leave it all on the field, when you're wracked with pain, constantly dealing with all of the injuries of your past in the game you're playing today. You can't be the best version of yourself if you're never all there. You can't give it everything you've got in today's battle when you're still fighting all of your old fights at the same time.
Miss July Jessa Hinton
Now... I'm just starting off as a Life Coach, but it seems that every single person that I've ever helped, regardless of what the outlying challenge seemed to be, has boiled down to some variation of this very same thing. Most of us never really let ourselves heal completely from our emotional wounds, however we got the injury, and then we go back out there without the ability to give it our all and not understanding why.
Miss August Iryna Ivanova
That, my friends, is what keeps most of us from our true greatness.
Well, I NEED to give it my all. I am so ready to give it 100%, leave it all out on the field. I don't need to be great, only fools wish to be great, but MAN do I want to DO something great, be a part of something great. I wonder if you can help me with that.
Miss September Tiffany Toth
My broken wing sucks, but not because its some great tragedy, so many people have to deal with far worse on a permanent basis. Its the little things we take for granted every day like tying your shoes and sleeping in our own bed that makes me feel it, but its also given me a gift. In the span of a lifetime, broken bones are just a small amount of pain. Compared living a lifetime of emotional pain, never going for what you really want, 6 weeks is nothing. In truth, the pain is over with quickly, and never really as bad as we fear its going to be. There is nothing in the world to be afraid of. Not really.
Miss October Amanda Cerny
So be like Smokin Joe Frazier, and go for it all the way, even if it kills you. Its across that threshold where your true greatness lies. Be like Ali, and rise each time you fall. Honestly, what's the alternative? Its nothing you want.
Miss November Ciara Price
And as my friend who I'm writing this to believes of me.... I WILL make the most of this situation. I'll be using the time to release all expectations of what's going to happen next, because I have no control of it right now; to learn how to ask for help, because I can't do it alone, and none of us really can, and as Charles Haanel teaches in The Master Key System, to learn how to sit in a quiet room by myself and be completely unaffected by anything that's going on around me.
Miss December Rainy Day Jordan
Now, there's a reason why I chose to use the 2011 Playboy Bunnies for this piece. Last week one of my biggest supporters told me that they refuse to read my blog anymore because they have no desire to have half naked women thrown in their face. It really upset me to the point where I had to ask many other people if the agreed with that sentiment. Amazingly, men an women alike almost unaminously told me to keeps the pictures in. Men and women alike love beautiful women. And what's not to love? The only thing about women I hate is the attitude they get when they know they look this good, when they use these looks to take advantage of people or "get the highest bidder", or when they're stupid or naive enough to think these features don't open doors for them and that they do it all on their own.
But I specifically chose Playboy because it has been always been about celebrating women and not classless, tasteless porn. None of these women are famous, but because of these pictures they're given great opportunities to live their dreams. And the shots are used as a way to attract people like you and me to some of the best writing, comedy and entertainment around. Maxim and Stuff follow a similar formula, and its a formula that works, a model for all of the things I want to bring you; Great entertainment all around and an avenue for new artists to make a name for themselves!
In the future I'd prefer to have new models in this space, for that I'm just waiting on you!
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