“How does it compare to losing?”
I am a competitor through and through. I hate losing. I am not a sore loser, but let’s be honest… I cannot stand losing; especially when there was something I could have done on my end to prepare better. I understand that sometimes, you get caught and things happen and I also understand that sometimes the better man at that particular time wins. I also understand that I cannot control who my opponent is or what he is capable of, but I do know that I am in control of how I prepare and how I execute.
In May of 2013, I had the worst defeat of my life. I was not in the right frame of mind and had some personal issues go on the day before the tournament. My head was a complete mess leading up to my first match. I lost and felt like I was a complete disaster on the mats. When I saw video footage of my match, I noticed how dominant I looked all the way up until the last minute when I got caught with a submission I have only ever been caught once in. All of a sudden, I started to understand how much the mental side mattered. After this loss, I started training harder. I started a strength and conditioning regimen and even started to take care of my mind more with meditation and mental practice.
Over the last year and a half, I have made it a point to push my body and mind harder and harder and not because I enjoy training –as a matter of fact, how I train is not enjoyable– but because the feeling of losing is not one I enjoy more than training. The feeling of losing makes my training enjoyable.
Look up. Get up. Don’t ever give up. -Michael Irvin