Speaking of excuses, there are a lot of reasons why you might not want to be a kickboxer.
You could be timid, you could not enjoy fighting, you might prefer kung fu, and so on.
But let’s take one really obvious reason why you can’t be a good kickboxer:
You only have one arm.
You know, it’s great to have dreams in life, but, hey, you also need to be realistic.
Because half of kickboxing is boxing, sometimes you have to realize that you actually can’t do it; that it’s better to lower your expectations so that you don’t get your hopes up and wind up disappointed.
Sometimes, when your fantasies are unrealistic, you need to be reasonable. You need to be prudent. You need to let your dreams — let’s admit it, they were “crazy dreams” — pass on by, so that you can grow up and be an adult and be responsible.
Like, for example, if you wanted to be a kickboxer, but, during a difficult childbirth, your right arm had been entangled with your umbilical cord and been amputated below the elbow.
And that left you with just one hand.
Then, you know, it’s pretty obvious that you… well… you just can’t be a kickboxer, y’know?
And maybe it’s even really disappointing to you because that was your crazy goal in life, and you were willing to do anything — work any gym, run any number of miles on the back roads of Winnipeg, jump as much rope as your father would turn for you — you were willing to do anything to be who you wanted to be.
But it’s important that you trim your dreams in life to match your abilities.
So let’s just face it and talk straight:
If you only have one arm, you can’t be a kickboxer! That’s so obvious that I can’t believe I have to keep on telling you this…
You. Can’t. Be. A. Kickboxer!!!
That is, unless you’re Baxter Humby, and you think all of those excuses are just a bunch of bummer that other people are trying to push on you and you don’t care that you only have one arm because you were born, and you breathe, and you beat, not just the opponent, but every excuse we ever tried to weigh down on you…
Baxter is the star of the not-famous-enough YouTube Video “One Armed Man Knocks Out A Kickboxer.” It is one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time.
The bell rings and Baxter, six feet tall and all three limbs of him, dances to the center of the ring against his fully-limbed opponent. His stub of a right arm, as regulations require, is sheathed in a boxing glove.
The pair circle each other, trading jabs. A few early kicks miss the opponent as the fighters feel each other out.
And then, forty-two seconds into the first round, Baxter strikes. A left kick knocks his opponent senseless, and….
goes. For the count.
You know, in some ways, it’s a totally unfair fight.
Sure, the other guy’s got more hands, but Baxter’s got more heart.
Guess who wins in life?
I’m generally skeptical of the “sports champion overcomes adversity” school of inspiration. I can somehow never quite see how it should inspire me that somebody in much, much better shape than me did something physically improbable. I mean, that’s why they’re in better shape, right?
Perhaps you feel the same.
But when Kickboxing Champion of the World… oh, I guess I forgot to mention that our Baxter Humby is world champion in his kickboxing weight class, didn’t I?
Well, when the Kickboxing Champion is a guy who has only one arm, I find it inspiring in the sense that I’ve never, ever had as good a reason to fail or quit or give up as Baxter had. Or, for that matter, had a dream as unlikely given the circumstances.
And the best thing about Baxter, then, is that he inspires you to realize that you can never, ever say “never” again.