As We Run
Scattered thoughts running through my mind. Nobody ever said they had to be organized.
If I were to start at my front-of-mind awareness, I’d begin by saying that I’m very excited for the upcoming fight with my brother, Mark. As brothers, we have always been very competitive against each other. It feels great to finally have an opportunity to step into the cage and fight somebody who I love, respect, and will be able to hang out with after the fight. We’ve both been training very hard. That being said, this fight is more for me than simply an opportunity to step into a cage and do something stupid. I’ll unpack that statement.
As a man, there have always been certain things that have gone through my mind that I’ve always wanted to do. Warrior spirit, wake up. Every man wants the opportunity to have his stadium entrance, rescue his damsel from her distressed high tower, and have the opportunity to put his own safety on the line for something he believes in. Every man wants to know the feeling of being respected as being strong, have the opportunity to intervene in a sticky situation, grow a strong family, put food on the table for those he loves, and drive a powerful muscle car. Perhaps this doesn’t hit on all men, as there are some who have grown so distance from what it means to be a man that they’ve forgotten some of their instinctual tendencies, but this inner spirit exists within many.
For me, personally, I am looking forward to the opportunity to do something that I am afraid of. In addition to stepping into a cage with over 600 people watching, I’m undergoing mandatory blood testing, training to the point of exhaustion/vomiting, and undergoing training that often leaves me bleeding. While this may not seem like my cup of tea, it is something that I’ve always wanted to try out to see if I really had the balls to do. However, there is a sole reason that propels me to do this; pushing myself to do something I want to do by propelling myself through endless situations I do not want to go through.
We all want our proverbial Lamborghini without putting in the required time to get it.
Were life about rewards without work, there would be no glory or lessons learned from the lacking pursuit of these goals. This fight is one of the few opportunities I’ve had that will enable me to understand what it means to really work and dedicate myself to pursuing something I want very much. It fulfills my desire, as a man, to know that I’m able to withstand the many blows given in a fight. And it enables me to know the feeling of hearing the roar of a crowd; either at my victory against Mark, or to painfully share in his victory. One of us will have our hand in the air after this match. And, to be honest with you, I will be happy with either one of us taking home the win — we’ve paid the price for it.
Last night, I had a dream about my Dad. It was right about this time of the year and he and I were able to talk. He decided that he was going to try harder to work, complete projects, and provide for his family. He fully realized his track record was to go 95% and then quit. He was determined to finish his work, projects, and finish up the projects that would provide for our family. It was beautiful. In that moment, I fully accepted and believed that he would continue to work hard and accomplish his goals. It was in that moment that everything seemed right. I smiled and sat back because I knew….I just knew that he was going to do what he said. This would be a good year.
Completion and satisfaction finally seemed to be an attainable goal for our family, rather than failure, setbacks, heartbreak, and loss. I cannot forget the look he gave me when he looked at me and said “Aaron, I am going to finish.” as he set out to accomplish his work. The feeling in my dream of a large household income, nice vehicles, and a father who was stepping into his full potential could not be replaced by the heartfelt peace I felt that the Plaat family would finally, at last, be whole, happy, and functioning at its fullest potential.
Wake up, Plaat.
Cold. Heartbroken. Awake. Realizing the bliss and joy I felt in this dream was nothing more than a dream. Perhaps it’s not normal to have these dreams about the loss of our father. Perhaps I ought to finally grow up and realize there’s more to life. Perhaps I ought to stop looking back and look forward to the future. Living without a father feels like driving a car without an engine; you can look as nice as you want on the outside, while lacking the most important part of being a man.
Who am I? What in the world am I supposed to do on this planet? What do I enjoy? What do I want? Will I ever love? Will I ever step outside the world of big dreams and finally wake up in a moment where I am living them?
If you were to offer me the opportunity to step into the proverbial Matrix and have the opportunity to live a life where all of my dreams could be accomplished, I would have to turn it down. I would rather be alive, with the opportunity to fail, cry, bleed, and have my heart broken many more than be trapped in a world where nothing is real.