As a few of you might already know, I unfortunately didn’t get to make it to the Golden Gloves finals this year. There are perhaps a hundred and one reasons why I didn’t win — some within my control and others not — but I am incredibly thankful for the journey that got me this far. I’m especially grateful for your support in your thoughts, prayers, cheers and good will. Special thanks to those who came near and far to watch me fight my heart out, as well as those who wanted to come but couldn’t make it.
I still think of myself as very lucky — I’ve received such an outpouring of support despite my loss. The interesting part of all this is that it actually means so much more than when you win. When you lose, you swallow your pride and allow people to love you — even the parts you’re not so proud about — and that makes you realize they love all of you. That’s how i feel right now, i feel very loved. This whole journey has been filled with a lot of life lessons, but I think that is perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned.
For someone who has a difficult battle with self-worth, losing has actually made me feel worthy of continuing on. I remember the day after the loss, i was so angry at myself, I was sad, ashamed, I felt I could’ve done this and that, I was filled with regret. I decided to go for a run to clear my head and said to myself, “Wow, look at all I’m feeling after a loss. Yes, feeling. I’m actually feeling something.” It was weird. it was like one of those “first” life moments you always remember: my first loss. I said to myself, “Wow. I’m alive to know what it feels like when you lose — this is great!!!” There was a point in my life where I thought I would never get past my mental illness and here I was, experiencing life. Right then and there I thanked the universe for keeping me alive just so i could have this experience.
I am starting to realize that losing is so much a part of life, a part of how we learn, a part of what strengthens us to become better, more resilient people. Sure, part of my dream has yet to be realized, but as I stay dialectical about it, part of that dream has also become a reality. And that’s what happens when we try. When we risk our pride, when we lay our uncontested dreams out on the line, when we don’t settle for what-ifs but live and work hard to see the day that we can say what now.
So what now?
The story hasn’t ended, not one bit. Once a fighter, always a fighter. We’ll keep pushing forward. We still have much work to do and I can’t wait to tell you more about it. But for now, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
PS A very special thanks to my coach Moises and to my sparring partners Karen, Ed, Kyce, Henry & Alejandro.