When I grew up in my small town, one of the greatest insults us young boys could ever receive was “You play like a girl” or “you fight like a girl.” It was an insult to reveal that you couldn’t measure up to the fabricated standard that boys set for each other.
There was a certain way to throw a baseball or a certain way to throw a punch. There isn’t a rule book you will find on these subjects, just an unwritten code guys lived by. In the same sense that it was a knock to us for our inability to do something, it was also a knock to those who were, girls.
Now, growing up, when school had recess outside, guys stuck with guys and played basketball or ran around the school yard pretending to be involved in a war. Girls, on the other hand, spent their time in a circle talking with each other or playing jump rope. Why things were this way, I don’t know. It’s just part of the code.
Well here’s reality-I’m not really good at sports. Never have been, never will be either. I tried out for the boy’s basketball team and I made it. In fact, we made it to the championship game only to lose miserably by 25 points or more.
I never ran track because I was never fast enough. I never played football because I would have never gotten on the team. I never joined the wresting team because, well, sports are not my thing. Except football, I love watching football. That’s the only acceptable sport in my view. I don’t like any other sports out there.
So here is where we take a turn…fighting like a girl is a compliment, not an insult. Here’s why. My mom is the best fighter I know. She’s the UFC Champion in my mind. Jon Jones has nothing on her.
You see, my mom worked full time and still managed to raise four kids. She worked long shifts to make sure we had clothes on our backs and food on the table. During the holidays, she would slave over the hot oven, just for us.
Sometimes, she would come home with gifts for us, for no reason. She was tough and believed in discipline. When I was disrespectful, she made sure it didn’t happen again. She knew how to do. She is a fighter, a warrior, a nurse, a teacher, a helper, a friend and so much more!
One of my mom’s greatest challenges came when I was only nine years old. My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. She fought alongside him, knowing the battle was going to end badly. The issue was the cancer was already in a stage where surgery wasn’t even an option. It was simply a waiting game and the best the doctors could do was “manage the pain.”
My mom kept her cool though and continued to do her best even after he passed away. She fought through the struggle and she kept fighting the fight.
My mom has done more things for me than I thank her for. My mom has been there through thick and thin. She knows she’s not perfect and she admits her faults. Moms don’t get off seasons like athletes. She’s always fighting no matter where I am in the world.
What makes an athlete a champion? Simple-they keep fighting with their heart. When they get knocked down, they get back up. My mom keeps back up.
My mom is the greatest fighter in the world. She’s a champion, she’s a hero, and she’s my friend.
**This blog post is dedicated to my mom, Happy Mother’s Day. I love you.**