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Fighting for Clarity

There's this to be said about fighting: while you're doing it, you don't have room in your head for anything else, not your busted ass car or your worries about your family, not the leak under your bathroom sink, or how you're going to pay your bills.  There's only breathe one two, step out of range, shift off the center line, move breathe one three two slip the jab level change three to the body check the low kick counter one two...  it is a better escape than most, and I've tried most of them, believe me.

I don't know what the fuck I'm doing here.

I get humbled and beat up at every session, I don't understand why I even go.

I'm feeling defeated; everything is so fucking hard for me, and I don't know why I'm doing it.

I should just quit, right?

Fuck you.  I'll show you motherfuckers what I am capable of.

I'll show you- 

And then I go and I try and my knees give and I get pummeled and twisted and what the fuck man how humble do I need to be?  How many times do I need my ego crushed into dust, how many times do I need to get home feeling like I've been in a car wreck, so sore the next day that I need two hands to even lift my coffee cup and these kids don't have a fucking clue what it is like for me how fucking hard it is how bad I wish I had started twenty years ago, these little fucks knock off push up after push up and I'm thinking that's great you weigh a buck fifty, I'm pushing over three bills here.  

And that sentiment, fuck you I'll show you what I'm capable of? That only means anything if you're capable of something more.

What if I'm not?

Oh and yeah the inspitrational slogans, the pain is weakness leaving the body bullshit, the you set your own limits bullshit, the it's not how many times you get knocked down it's how many times you get back up bullshit, yeah okay poster slogan writer you spend your whole day staring at numbers and letters on a computer screen and then decide that the best way to spend the remainder of your day is going to demonstrate to everyone that you can't do it?  Find the will to show the world how fucking terrible you are.  

Maybe fuck you I'll show you what I'm capable of should just be fuck you and I stay home and I don't have to prove anything to anyone.

But there's this thing, this itch, this big stupid block in my brain that doesn't know anything, and who the fuck am I really?  How do I get to find out?  Is it too late for me, and this is as good as I'll ever be at anything and there is nothing left but the last pathetic slide into the darkness, slithering into nothingness...

Just how fucking humble do I need to be?

I don't know, maybe there is something here. Maybe one more session, maybe getting my ass kicked one more time will jar it loose, or maybe the answer doesn't lie in pain and humility and violence, maybe what I am looking for doesn't lie here at all and this is just another thing that I tried and quit like a thousand other things. 

There's ways to get in shape that don't involve getting punched, right?  Jazzercise maybe?  Waterobics?

Fuck you I'll show you-

Show who?  Who even cares?  Show what?  

I don't know what the answers are, and I don't even know what the questions are, but I do know that sometimes my hands feel like fire and I walk around with my fists clinched and I swear I feel...


Like an unexploded bomb, a landmine in some field somewhere hidden and ancient, abandoned and forgotten but one day someone is going to step wrong and lose a fucking limb.

Maybe fuck you should be turned around, turned on myself, fuck you for not ever trying, for not ever applying yourself, fuck you for wasting your youth for squandering all your gifts, for pissing on every opportunity, fuck you for waiting until it was too late to do anything signifigant. 

But I've done all that, tried fighting myself, and that way leads to madness and pain and death.  You lose, every time.

Maybe fuck you shouldn't be fuck you at all but instead I should understand that I am one with the universe and all beings and I reach a state of pure enlightnement.  But, I mean, this is me, right?  This is me the big dumb jackass stumbling and wheezing and making a fool of myself over and over.  This is me reading and speaking and learning and finding the quiet moments of peace. This is me, a contradiction in everything I do. This is me the monk, me the guru, me the asshole, the idiot, the father, the fuck up. This is me, a wild collision of everything I ever learned, a beautiful imperfect wreck and I'm pretty damn far from pure enlightenment so maybe fuck you is going to have to do for now.

What if I quit and I never get to find out what I am made of?  Because what it appears I am made of right now is sweat and softness and a desperate need for validation.  What if that is all I am made of?  What if I find my answers are everything that I am afraid of? 

Fighting is stupid and dangerous, and okay, fair enough, that's all well and good, but what if I have unanswered questions buried deep in my heart, hidden things that I am afraid of, what if the only way to find out who I am or who I am meant to be is through violence?  In so many ways violence made me who I am, and I have denied it for so long that I thought it was gone, but it has just been waiting, dormant maybe, but far from dead. Maybe I have to break it out, maybe-

Maybe some things are best left sleeping.

I don't know anything, like I said.

Sometimes I get caught by some jacked maniac, I drop my right hand when I throw a hook and catch one on the ear, and stars splatter across my vision, and for just a second everythig goes quiet, just for the tinyest of moments it is there, the thing I have been looking for. Just there, in the spray of stars, just out of my reach, a wisp of fog, there, then gone.

Or maybe I've been concussed and I need to sit down for a while and think about my life choices.  

Most days I feel like a fool, most days I believe everyone thinks I'm a joke.  Maybe I am. 

I don't have any answers, just more questions. 

And maybe I just go until my body gives up, until I blow my ACL, or dislocate my hip or shoulder or worse, maybe I'll just keep fighting until I can't fight anymore.

Maybe I just keep fighting until I find some clarity.

If there is any to find.

Still Writing



This one is pretty straight forward, no?  Just a rant about being filled with self doubt and fear and confusion.  Its nothing new I suppose, but it is honest and feels true, or as true as these kinds of things can be.  Anyway, its been a while since I have written anything, so I figured what the hell.  You can reach me at, on Twitter @RDPullins, and as always I have a Facebook that I never check so theres that, too.  Find quiet moments of peace when you can, savor them. Cheers.



  1. ank for the read Ralph...
    Your not alone...

    1. 🙂 Thanks! Getting older aint for the weak, eh?

    2. Well said my friend 💪🏼

  2. Replies
    1. Playing it pretty close to the vest with the anonymity, eh?

      I was honestly afraid to post this and share it because I thought my intention might be misunderstood. I have been filled with self doubt lately and wanted to express that in a positive way, as hard and as honest as I could. I hope it doesnt come off as whiny or pitiful, or a cry for help. I just had all this stuff stuck inside and it needed to come out or I would remain paralyzed by it.


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