Next Chapters

As I move into this chapter of my life, I step outside of my seemingly static past year. This past year was filled with a spurts of self-fulfillment and growth. I spent a lot of time to myself, and worked on my craft to iron out the person that I want to be. I understand better the things that are important to me.

I have a weird relationship with social media. I believe that it is possible to use it effectively in a healthy manner, to build a better lifestyle,  but just as easy to use it to fuel toxic, hypocritical behaviour. A lot of posturing goes on, and it makes me think about how far people derive from the reality of our existence. Often times the ones who find the most success are the ones who are the best fakers.

So as I have reached 25 years of age, I demand upon myself MORE discipline, welcome MORE responsibility, and to demand courage upon myself even on the lowest of lows. To foster mentorships from battle-tested veterans such as Goggins, and to harness an iron-will forged through grit and hard work.

I’m not interested in your Instagram filters, and I don’t worship any other human being. We all bleed equally, and I think people place other people on a pedestal because it makes them feel better about themselves. People tell themselves, Kobe is a GOD, and I’ll never be like him, but the reality is that these people just don’t understand their own capability. Some say that Goggins is crazy, but what if he isn’t? What if you are just saying that as a reason to be mediocre and stay complacent? We are all capable of more, and it irritates me when people make excuses as to why they can’t do this or that.

In this next chapter of my life, I’m taking these thoughts with me. I’m understanding that being different is good, and that I need to live life on my own terms, and not care as much about what others think of me. Growing up in a Korean household, this was the complete opposite of what was taught of me. It was a lot of listening to others and fitting the mold, but I’m learning more about what it means to be me. An ongoing challenge, but one that is inevitable as well as necessary.

What you can be you must be.

No one knows you better than yourself

In high school, I was as judgmental as most high school kids are, and I did many things I would not dare to do today. When I went to college, I still had a lot of the baggage I carried with me throughout high-school, but I chanced upon meditation, and a few experiences that helped me get a better sense of self-awareness and what a better of version of myself would look like.

Time has been flying by lately, and as I get to meet old friends, I notice much change, or the lack thereof. Personally, change has been seemingly constant in my life, and I embrace it as necessary for my own growth. I remember in college, I read from the famous philosopher Alan Watts, talking about the flaw with personal development. He stated, “The flaw with personal development is thinking you need improvement at all.” I’m not sure entirely what he meant by this, but back then, it sounded like a convincing excuse to be content with who you are and not try to change. I see it in a different light now. To be content with who I am, but to know there is more potential to be reached. To be happy with myself, but always strive for better.

The biggest transformation area for me is to stop caring what other people think. I’m catching myself more and more now, and notice when other friends are also so caught up in this. I’m not the type of person to force change on someone, so I probably won’t remark on it, but I use these moments to reflect and use as examples for what not to be. Even now, I’m at a cafe with my back against the entire area, and I think about how weird it might be for a stranger to see me typing this, but it’s necessary friction.

Another one is unrelenting optimism. I reason by telling myself I’m a “realist,” but I recognize that if I want to reach the goals I set out for myself, I need to train and practice optimism and gratitude.

I attribute a lot of these blockages to how I was raised. I don’t claim that I had a rough childhood, in fact compared to most of the world, I had an extremely privileged upbringing, but I can only speak to my example. My Korean parents emigrated from Korea to provide a better living than they had, and I don’t doubt this was the result that happened. Still, coming from a culture where feelings aren’t generally shared, and you rarely speak your mind, I was exposed to a different subset of problems. I’m learning all these things now, at 25, but am grateful that I am at least paying attention now, rather than later.

For a long time, I was told what I should be or do. Even now, there are societal pressures, and I have a strong feeling that most of the world and my peers do things because someone else told them this was the right thing to do. I’m fortunate enough to have found online mentors like Gary Vee and Jordan Peterson, who helped me to better think for myself, and figure out what it is I want to do. I do consider myself privileged, so I need to make the most of my experience for myself, but also for others to see that you can pursue your wants and dreams and make it all work out. I will be another one of the success stories.



Life as a Marathon

I’ve been writing in a journal, but recently decided that it would be better to publish my thoughts publicly. I haven’t been posting much on social media, and my life has been a bit more private. I put my head down for the last few months, and grinded, and recently have been slowing down, and taking some time to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

For some time now, I have been often thinking about life as a marathon, and how big a factor consistency is in achieving long-term fulfilment and sense of purpose/meaning. Most of us wake up on days with no goal in mind. When this happens, your day is full of infinite possibility. Anything can happen. I could purchase a flight to around the world, or go on a few days vacation nearby, spend the day at a cafe, or stay-in and play games. I realized that for most of my life, I have been drawn to this infinite possibility.

The problem here is the imbalance of infinite possibility and actually getting something done. For me personally, this applied mostly in relationships and jobs. If I stay single, I have a near infinite pool of girls that I could potentially date. Inversely, if I settle for a job, I could miss out on a better job.

There’s a sweet-spot here, that I haven’t algorithmically drawn out, but some people have. The popular book, Algorithms to Live by, wrote an interesting theory about a 37% rule, where after you see 37% of the options you have, you should settle with the next choice you are happy with. related article It’s an interesting read, but does not apply in all cases.

I have been thinking more about trying to change my perspective about this. I want to be able to gauge my options, and not be lured by the infinite possibility, but have the courage to make potentially dangerous, risky decisions that could have life-changing implications. To make decisions rooted in courage, optimism, patience, self-awareness, and truth.



On Mindset

How you perceive things forms habits that eventually create your very reality. I wrote something like a few years ago. Some time has passed since my last post, and a lot has changed.

I look back on my photos every few months, and I get a vague sense of what each year was like, and where I was mentally. It’s encouraging to see a clear progression, and that as the years go by, I develop a more calloused mind.

At this time, I’m wearing a 3-inch bandage on my left index finger, after a nasty injury at the climbing gym. In the beginning of this year, I dropped a 50lb weight on my finger that was resting on a thin edge, and I had immediately crushed the top of the fingertip, fracturing my finger and nearly severed the first joint of my finger. It’s healing  somewhat well now, but the doctor says amputation is still a possibility. Yikes!

I look back and remember how calm I was when it happened. I looked at my finger and saw that it was extremely malformed. The adrenaline had numbed the pain, and as I was gushing blood onto the canvas, I asked my friends to help me to the bathroom to try and stop the bleeding. A worker was helping me out, and I honestly held myself together better than she did! I thanked her for her help, and she thanked me for being calm and easy to work with.

I went to the ER as I did last year for my appendicitis, and I sat there on the bed. “I’m back.” I thought to myself. I waited for the doctor to see me. I didn’t panic and worry about what might come. I watched the doctor try and sew my fingertip back together. As freakish as it might sound, it was entertaining to watch, and I made it a point to enjoy myself because I wasn’t going anywhere.

My friends told me of Tommy Caldwell, a professional climber who had lost the very same finger I had injured, but had gone and climbed some of the most challenging routes in the world. My climbing career has been on hold many months ago due to my appendicitis, and now again because of my finger! Bummer, but it is what it is!

The climbing gym owner called me today to check in to make sure that I was fine. He told me about people in similar incidents who fall into depressive states stemming from similar injuries. I laughed because I knew that I was so far removed from that reality. I took a step back and realized how thick-skinned I had become over the years. I became more aware of my ability to see clear and steer clearly in what could be a terrible situations to others.

Goggins’ book reiterates the point of callousing your mind. In this golden age of safety and access, I notice that myself and many of my peers have lost that sense of what it was like before. This is why I strive to callous my mind. Because of the what ifs. What do you do when things go south? Do you freeze up in panic, or do you make the most logical decision in quick succession? Mike Tyson has this great quote, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

At the end it comes down to a battle for control. People fear the unknown, and this can be extremely debilitating in the extremes.

Cheers to another year of life, blessings, and gratitude. We don’t know what the future holds, but we still press on, in aggressive pursuit for what we believe is right.

Comfort Challenge: Appendicitis

I spent my 24th birthday in the emergency room, because of a terrible stomach ache had kept me up the entire night. I drove myself to urgent care, and the doctor directed me to the emergency room.

As I was laying down in the waiting room, I was thinking about my list of todos. I was tunnel-visioned on the deadlines I needed to meet, and in a rush to get out of the hospital so I could get some rest so I could continue my routines. I remember thinking, “hurry up and tell me it’s food poisoning, give me whatever I need to take so I can get on my way!”

After my computed tomography (CT) scan, I was directed back to my bed to wait. The doctor came by around a half hour later, and put his hand on my stomach and said that I had appendicitis. My appendix was swollen, but hadn’t quite burst yet, which was a good thing in a bad situation. He told me I needed to have surgery, to notify the people I needed to let know, and assured me that the surgery is relatively simple. He and the nurses also mentioned that there is no well-documented reasoning for why we need our appendix, so I wasn’t missing out on much having it removed. There is also no well-known reason for the cause of appendicitis either. This organ is filled with mystery.

I took a deep breath, and accepted the situation at hand. I was surprised that I wasn’t very afraid. I did a quick study on my phone about the surgery, and was convinced that it wasn’t something to make a big deal about.

What struck me more was the recovery time that I would need. No physical activity for 2-3 weeks, and I would barely be able to move in my first week. My exercise routines subsequently stopped, my appointments with friends were halted, my birthday plans cancelled, and I missed out on a trip to Lake Arrowhead! I remember feeling overwhelmed about this missed time. I would also have to reestablish my habits. I felt like I had just begun to develop good habits too, and then appendicitis struck me! I knew it would affect me for more than the 2-3 weeks, because I would need to put in more time and effort into getting back to normal. It felt like my life was being pushed back a month or more, and it made me uneasy.

I’m proud to say that I didn’t dwell on it much. I remember noting in my head two things:

  1. I knew I had no sleep at night, so I told myself that I’m not thinking straight, so be wary of any negative thoughts that might come around.
  2. This is the reality of my current situation, so I need to bite down on the situation, and make it the most fun, learning experience I can. It was an opportunity to learn about my body and it’s healing process.

I joked with the nurses, asking them to save my appendix and put candles on it to celebrate my birthday. They said they appreciated seeing a young person in their hospital who was in good spirits. I felt in good-care, my Mother knew the supervisor of the hospital, and she had set me up with what seemed to be a luxury hospital room. I had a genuinely fun time in the hospital.

Moments before the surgery, one of the nurses asked if I was scared. I answered with an honest “no.” I was smiling as they pushed me into the operating room and reusing my appendix-birthday joke as often as I could to the new faculty members I would see. I was a little nervous about the surgery, but more anxious about my healing process and how soon I could get back to my routines.

The surgery went well, and I’m sitting here a week later, walking at 80% speed, and in good spirits. At the cost of my appendix, I got a few good jokes, a birthday to remember, and a newfound appreciation for health, family, and friends. I’m reminded that the journey to our goals is not one that is linear. It’s filled with pit-stops, and things that may seem like set-backs at some point in time, but these things eventually turn into things that happened that taught us about “x, y and z”. With the correct mindset, we can turn any situation into a learning experience. The stories we tell ourselves about how we interact with the world and vise-versa quite literally shape the entirety of how we think and act. So next time something “bad” happens to you, try to pause and see how that exact situation helped teach you something positive in some obscure way that took you some time to realize. Continue this thought exercise for years, and I’m convinced that that person will be wealthy, fulfilled, happy, and successful.

What a way to start to my 24th year!

2017: The year that set the bar

I spent this morning listening to Terry Crews on Tim Ferriss’ podcast. Terry speaks of his hardships, and the lessons he has learned throughout his life. He speaks of the importance of belief, and how that belief literally shapes who you are and how you mold the world around you. It’s one of the most compelling and inspiring podcasts I’ve listened to all year. Give it a listen here! I’ve found this to be true in my world, and as I look back on all the experiences I have had this year, I feel an excitement rushing within me as I prepare to outdo myself and these experiences in the coming year.


Irvine, CA Amazing view from on top of the Donald Bren Building. 1/12/17

I had finished my 30 day comfort-zone challenge a few weeks ago, and I was still riding the high of chasing after exploring the things that lay outside my comfort zone. I felt more empathetic towards others, and felt I could easily connect with strangers that I met.

I had been involved with Hack-a-thon’s in the past, but never participated fully in one. Fortunately, the HackUCI team was able to put up a great event that allowed me to both participate and volunteer!


Irvine, CA Getting our code on. 1/14/17

I came into the event with no team, so I had to improvise. I was nervous at first, but after going around and introducing myself to a few others, I decided who I wanted on my team. It was a pre-made team of 3 friends from high-school, I told them about some of the things I worked on, and they agreed to have me on as their last member.

We decided on an Android App, and things got moving very quickly. We used Trello as a tasking system, and worked on creating a Broadcasting Application using Firebase, Android Studio, SF OpenData API, that allowed users to broadcast their locations to others in the area that were willing to meetup. Unfortunately, we overshot the complexity of our app, so we weren’t able to have a fully working version, but we created a mockup of what it might look like to demo to judges. It was a pleasure working with you guys, Calvin, Ho-Ren, and Jerry.


Irvine, CA Detour Project @ UCI. 1/27/17

A few weeks later, a non-profit I was working with had our first public event! Wanderlosters set up these big boards on UCI’s campus, and we asked students about their goals, and the expected obstacles between them and their goals. The objective was to help students define these goals, and have breakthroughs in how they might achieve them.

I remember being surprised at how exhausting it was to try and approach so many people and form a connection.

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Irvine, CA Practicing my roundhouse kick. 3/3/17

After taking my first Muay Thai class at UCI, I became obsessed with it. Muay Thai become a huge part of my life. I would go to the gym almost every day to practice what I had learned from class. I would videotape myself and try to correct the errors that I could catch. I spent hours watching coaching videos, and would frequently throw elbows and punches while in the shower, trying to perfect my form. My slow & steady improvements was further proof that I could progress in anything as long as I continued to put in the effort. It’s sometimes difficult to see improvements in other aspects of life, but in Muay Thai, I could tell I was getting better every month. After every few weeks, I would notice that I could create a slightly stronger impact while hitting the bag, or kick a little higher than before. It’s still a big part of my life now, and I believe MMA will stay with me for many more years.



Idyllwild, CA Pulled over on the street to snag this awesome picture. 4/8/17

I don’t remember where our original destination was set for. We had planned to go camping, but the road was very poorly paved and we did not want to risk popping the tires on my friend’s car. We rerouted to go elsewhere and stayed the night. On our way back home, we stopped in Idyllwood, and wandered around the streets in the early hours of the morning.


Irvine, CA Grabbing a nice meal at the Mesa Commons with one of my best friends.

Anthony taught me a lot about the value of honesty. During the school year, I spent most of my time with him. From spending so much time with him, I got to see that he never knowingly took advantage of anyone, and was always honest with others and himself. I judged him as being honest to a fault, but I now strongly believe that his mindset will set him up for an abundance of success in the long-term.


Irvine, CA Moments before graduation. 6/18/17

5 years led up to this very moment. I regretted not walking with my friends who graduated last year, but then I realized that I had created a new group of friends who were no lesser. I’m eternally thankful for the experiences I had during my short stay at UCI.

I spent the next month studying for interviews, and trying to figure out the “next move.” I never doubted that my success would come, I just did not know what it might look like. My friends Derek and Gary told me they were planning a trip to Europe, and asked if I wanted to come. Surely I would accept, and thus began an incredible journey.


Lille, France My study sheet for my stay in France. 7/21/17


Lille, France Walking the streets of Northern France! 7/19/17

We landed in Paris, and within a few hours took a train to Northern France. I was so stoked to be on the other side of the world. There were so many times during this trip where I questioned how in the hell I had wound up here.


Lille, France Big clocktower building! 7/20/17


Lille, France 7/20/17


Lille, France Architecture admiring as a tourist. 7/20/17


Lille, France We couldn’t find a public restroom anywhere, so we paid 3 euros to get admission to this nearby zoo where we could use the bathroom. Two birds, one stone. 7/20/17


Vieux Lille, France Old part of Lille. 7/22/17


Lille, France Cured meats seem to be a staple all across France. 7/19/17


Lille, France The day of the forbidden cheese- Maroilles Cheese. 7/22/17

This was the day my entire world flipped. For all my years on this world, I believed myself to be a “cheese fan.” My friends and I walked into this restaurant, and asked the owner to give us whatever he recommends. We had heard of this Maroilles cheese before. It was apparently banned from importing to the US because it was too stinky, but I could not find any news that neither confirmed this or denied it. I believe it to be true. It was the most potent and pungent food I had ever eaten. Looking at these pictures now makes me slightly uncomfortable in remembrance of that dark day.


Paris, France Voilà! I only had a day to spend in Paris, so I made use of all the sunlight I had. 7/24/17

Paris was probably the most underwhelming city during my trip. It was congested with tourists and poverty. Granted, I was only there for a day, so a future visit is in order.


Vienna, Austria I asked our taxi driver where we should eat, and he directed us to Figlmüller to try their world famous schnitzel. To be honest, all the different schnitzel I had in Austria and Germany didn’t taste much better than the best country-fried steak/chicken I’ve had. 7/25/17

Derek, Gary and I wandered through the streets of Tuchlauben, stopping for all kinds of foods. A philosophy that I developed through conversations with my close friend Shaun was that food is an experience that should not be taken lightly. It would most likely be years before I am ever back in these streets, so it makes sense for me to splurge on all the delicacies I could get my eyes on.

Vienna, Austria The view from our Airbnb during sunrise. 7/26/17

En route to Velden am Wörthersee, Austria The hidden gem of Austria! The views from the train ride there were some of the most breathtaking things I have ever seen. 7/26/17


Velden am Wörthersee, Austria The view from our Hotel. I remember questioning how I ended up with this good fortune. 7/27/17

We only decided to take this trip because Derek had won a package to play at a poker tournament here in Velden. Gary and I killed time at the pool, we played ping-pong along the lake, and explored the rest of this gem of a city. On Derek’s downtime, we rented electric bikes and trespassed into private lakes, and caught some great MPHs while going down hills.


Velden am Wörthersee, Austria More questioning of my good fortune… Rump steak with wild Chanterelle mushrooms after a lucky night in the casino. 7/28/17


Velden am Wörthersee, Austria My buddy Andreas, who just recently got married! We played ping-ping, talked about our shared interest in MMA. This cool dude is a MMA/poker journalist in Sweden. 7/30/17

Andreas and Rikard were journalists from Sweden who came to cover Derek’s poker tournament. We dined at a lakeside restaurant to which we arrived by speedboat. It was an incredible energy that these two brought that could light up any conversation. We spent our last days lakeside, shown above.

Onto Germany! I used couchsurfing to see if I could stay somewhere for free. After a few denials, I got to speaking with Kathi, who agreed to let me stay with her. I arrived at our designated meeting spot, alone and somewhat nervous about being kidnapped. My friends jokingly(I think) told me that I was walking into a trap.

Thankfully, she arrived and walked me to her beautiful apartment building. We shared beers together, and she told me of her solo-trips to Asia- where she got around mostly by hitchhiking. She had an amazingly powerful and optimistic way of thinking. She told me of a time when she was in Japan, and staying at a stranger’s house on the floor. Cockroaches were buzzing around her, as she was trying to get some rest. Instead of panicking, she told me that she knew she could only make 2 decisions. She could either get up and leave to go elsewhere, or suck it up and sleep. She chose the latter option, and left with a funny story she could share with others like me! She left me a bottle of water every morning, and kept in touch whenever I was out. She deeply inspired and moved me with her spirit of paying-it-forward.


Munich, Germany This lovely lady let me stay at her place during my entire stay in Munich! She gave me suggestions on places to visit, and told me crazy stories of her own travels. Amazing woman! 8/1/17


Munich, Germany Who does this? She told me she spent the morning figuring out what I should do while I was still in bed! So grateful for her. 8/1/17


Munich, Germany Gary and I met these two guys floating along in a river. They took us to our first beergarden, and told us the characteristics of a “real” beergarden. Hint: Chestnut trees. 8/1/17

Munich was my favorite city of the trip. It was mostly due to the interactions I had with the people there, and very little to do with the amazing sights I saw here.

I woke up early morning to make sure that I would catch my flight. I went out to buy souvenirs and came back in time to pack up and catch my flight to Barcelona. I take out the key from my pocket and try to open the keyhole. I hear a crack. I take out the key, and find that the key had slightly cracked when I had tried to open the door. I didn’t have my phone with me, and Kathi had already left for work. I try not to panic and take a seat in the nearby park, trying to assess my options. It wasn’t anything I needed to involve the police in, and at worst, I would just have to catch the next flight. I tried to give the key another try, but it would not unlock.

Eureka! I figure I might as well try to use my brain to get this door open. I picked up a leaf from the ground and rip into a small piece that just might fit into the cracked part of the key. I fit the leaf-key into the lock and try to turn it over. It worked! I got into the gated part of the community, but I needed to get into the house using the same key. I stuffed more of the leaf into the key and tried it again. Surely enough, the door opened, and I had only lost 10 minutes of my time. What a lucky guy I am!


Barcelona, Spain Rooftop view from my hostel. 8/5/17


Barcelona, Spain Spent the day walking around the streets and found this while wandering through a part. 8/3/17


Barcelona, Spain Wandering through the Gothic Quarter. 8/3/17


Barcelona, Spain Fun times during a bar crawl with 3 friends I met at the hostel.  8/5/17

In Barcelona, I went on a bar crawl with a French model! I also went to both a gay and nude beach with my buddy Jack, who became my closest friend while I was in Barcelona. I can’t believe these things happened as I sit here writing this. How in the world am I going to beat these experiences in 2018?


Alameda, CA Trip up to NorCal to visit some of my best friends. 8/19/17


Big Bear Lake, CA Camping with friends! 8/29/17


Big Bear Lake, CA We woke up early in the morning to go fishing.  8/29/17


Cerritos, CA On top of a parking lot admiring clouds. 9/11/17


Huntington Beach, CA I realized I haven’t been to the beach since I’ve been back from Europe, so I went to the beach! 9/22/17


Anaheim, CA One of my best friends gets married. Congrats Jason! 9/23/17


Glendale, CA Visiting college friends! 10/29/17


Internet, Internet Launching my personal project on Google Play Store. 11/3/17

The project I’ve been working on for months was finally launched! I promised myself I would get a working version out on the Play Store before I started work. I’m proud I was able to achieve this, as it was a testament to the progress I’ve been making. All of life I had difficulty seeing things through, and I was glad to achieve this goal. It would set a strong precedent for the future.

Now I’m employed! I’m happy that my co-workers are all easy to work it, and I know I can learn a lot during my time at Boeing. I’m grateful for this opportunity, and will actively take action to make sure I am an important asset to the Boeing family.


Huntington Beach, CA Joining the workforce as a full-time employee. 11/10/17


Sunset Beach, CA Visiting the beach after work! 12/18/17

It’s been difficult to find the strength to be proactive after work, but I’m slowly getting there. My work is only one part of my many-layered life, and I will continue pursuing those other parts in the new year.


Irvine, CA Spent the day with some old friends I haven’t seen in over a year. KBBQ followed by go-kart racing worked out surprisingly well.

This was our first big reunion between our group of friends. We’ve been together through the ups and downs, and I’m glad we can find the time to hang out as old friends.


Irvine, CA Amazing group of friends. 12/27/17


Vroom-Vrooming into the New Year with my new toy!

Every year gets better than the last. Higher highs, and higher lows. I don’t expect this to always hold true, but I’ll accept the blessings as they come to me! Cheers to a new year! I look forward to another year filled with wealth in the form of friendships, travel, good food, health, and career goals!

MMA: The sport of Blood, Sweat, Tears, but more importantly, Honor and Respect

It seems I draw a lot of inspiration to write after watching MMA fights. UFC 217 was yesterday, and it was the most action-packed fight card I’ve seen since I started following combat sports 3 years ago. Three championship belts were on the line, and three new champions were crowned. These new champions were all betting underdogs.

At it’s core, MMA is an art that establishes an emphasis on honor and respect. Rose Namajunas(New Champion) mentioned that yesterday. She was a heavy underdog, and came out with a first round KO against a long-time champion in Joanna Jedrzejczyk. TJ Dillashaw(New Champion) and Cody Garbrandt exchanged so many insults with each other, and have a bad personal history. Still, after Dillashaw KO’d his opponent in the 2nd round, he set his personal differences aside and had nice words to say to a person he genuinely does not like. There are very few exceptions, but most fighters show respect to his/her opponent once that finishing bell rings, no matter how they might personally feel about them. At the end of the day, there is no fight without the opponent, and for that reason alone, you should be compelled to respect him/her.

To be successful, whatever that may mean to you, you must honor both yourself and your opponent. Your opponent might come in the form of a midterm, a job, and so on. It’s imperative to respect the challenges of your situation. I feel I get a better understanding of this as I train, and study MMA.

A fight takes two willing contenders to step into a ring or octagon. These fighters are utterly exposed to show what the accumulation of their past lives has brought into the ring. Georges St. Pierre(New Champion) says a fighter needs to consider three things: their physical well-being, emotional well-being, and mental well-being. If one of these things are not up to par relative to your opponent, you may come in with a serious disadvantage.

GSP and Joanna Jedrzejczyk speak of the challenges of being a champion. The difficulty is in keeping the mindset of a challenger. The challenger often has a more insatiable hunger than the champion who overlooks his/her challengers. GSP stopped fighting 4 years ago, telling his fans that the pressure was too much for him to take. He was constantly on edge, realizing that after every challenger he beat, there was another obsessed challenger with different skillsets in line waiting for his turn at the belt.

The end result is a winner and a loser. On rare occasion there is a draw, but these are usually settled with a rematch sometime in the future. In our world filled with participation trophies in so many shapes and forms, it’s a relief to many to see the near-binary decision-making in sports like cage fighting. These men and women put their lives on the line for entertainment, and so much more. For so many, it’s the only thing they have world-class talent in, and the only way they can make a living.

MMA is a sport that showcases the triumphs and the struggles of our human existence. It reminds us of what life was once like, when the distance between life and death wasn’t so falsely separated as it is now in our culture. It reminds us that there are no such things as immortals. No fighter is invincible, no matter how much the media may try to portray a person. It reminds us that sometimes our best is not enough, but the only way to know is to try anyway to be the best versions of ourselves. There is no alternative. We are all equalized in death, and this should remind us to live our lives honestly and virtuously.


New Champion (Georges St. Pierre) and Former Champion (Michael Bisping) show mutual-respect to each other after their fight.