Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Take a Punch

By Julie Rahm

     A thousand years ago, when my husband John went through the Navy flight school, they taught boxing! I don’t understand the thinking that supports teaching boxing to Naval Aviators. I suspect it builds confidence, toughness and physical fitness. The darker side of me believes the Navy thought their aviators were destined to participate in a few bar room brawls and the boxing instruction would help protect their investment. I don’t know if they still teach boxing at flight school. But, back in the day, prospective Naval Aviators squared off against one another. Unfortunately for John, he was matched against an individual who was a Golden Gloves boxer from Detroit! John says his opponent hit him at will. This individual, who possessed superior skills, hit John when and where ever he wanted. This boxer went easy on John. Even though a lot of punched were pulled, John still took a good beating during the daily training sessions. Everyone wore boxing headgear and sixteen ounce gloves. But, John still would get knocked down on a regular basis. John says he tried not to blink his eyes closed when hit. If he blinked, he usually got knocked down by the next forthcoming blow! John sported black and blue all over Naval Air Station Pensacola. The training lasted two weeks. I am sure it seemed like years to John. To his credit, John always got back up after being knocked down. He literally learned to take a punch. When he first told the story, I thought; there it is, yet another metaphor for a successful life. To lead the life you desire and deserve, one needs the ability to take a punch and get back up.
     Life offers many blows. Loved ones depart the earth. Hurricanes come ashore. Divorce or infidelity arrive unannounced and suddenly. Mix in the challenges of unemployment and some lives can be a real struggle. Like John’s flight school boxing experience, it seems some are matched against impossible odds. My point is this; getting punched by life is inevitable. Everyone gets bruised. Most important is the determination to get up off the canvas and get back into the fight.
     One of my best friends lost his wife to sickness. He was left with three daughters; ages nine, thirteen and eighteen. He is the poster child for the ability to take a punch and get back up. Everyday, for him, contains a challenge. But, he continues to persevere and do well enough. Another of my friends lost her husband in a house fire. He was an alcoholic and abused her. One tragic evening, he passed out while smoking and perished in the subsequent fire. Even though they were separated, he left her thousands of dollars in debt. There was no insurance. She took the punch, paid off the enormous debt and is doing well enough.
     If you’ve been punch by life and need help getting up off the canvas, contact me by visiting my website at 

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