Another Day, Another Mid Life Crisis

A work colleague of mine has started training for a charity white collar boxing event. He’s thrown himself into an intensive programme of gym classes, sparring and weights. The big day is less than a month away and he’s truly a man on a mission. Personally, I don’t understand these men who hit their forties and take up sports when they should really know better. It’s all a bit sad don’t you think?

Errrrrrrr….moving on.

Today he brought in a pair of boxing gloves as he has a sparring session tonight after work. After impressing us with how many one handed press ups he could do, he then produced the gloves and handed them to me. ‘I want you to hit me as hard as you can in the stomach,’ he cheerily announced, keen to display the benefits of six trillion sit ups a day. ‘Er….sure,’ I replied. I wasn’t at all sure.

If I’ve ever worn a pair of boxing gloves before, then I can’t remember. I’m proud to say I’ve never thrown a punch in anger and would run a mile in the opposite direction were a brawl to break out. It took me the best part of five minutes to put on the gloves, gnawing at the velcro straps with my teeth, as my colleague patiently looked on, with tensed abs. If that’s what people with abs do. I wouldn’t know.

Finally ready, I launched a tentative jab towards his rock hard six pack. I didn’t want to hurt him, after all. He didn’t bat an eyelid, causing me to put more force into the next punch. Nothing. I looked him in the eye to see him smiling back amiably. Okay, I thought to myself, to an imaginary Rocky soundtrack in my head. It’s time to up the ante. My manly reputation is on the line here, there are people watching.

Summoning up my inner Raging Bull, I drew my right fist back and unleashed a haymaker of epic proportions. Surely that muscular missile would cause him to double over in agony, the wind knocked out of his sails. I was ready to rumble, to bring the pain, unleash hell and stuff like that. He smirked at me. Smirked, no less. I gritted my teeth and unloaded one last blow, putting every fibre of my being into it.

At which point, a shard of agony roared up my right arm and into my shoulder. ‘Are you okay?’ he enquired as I winced in pain and fought back the tears. ‘Yes I’m fine,’ I lied, convinced I had broke my thumb. I gingerly removed the gloves and retreated to my desk, vowing never to indulge in pugilism ever again. My feeble fists had been overcome by a washboard abdomen. I looked down glumly at my own rather less Herculean midriff.

I’ll stick to running in future. The funny thing is, I’ve run with my work colleague before. He’s as fit as a fiddle but when it comes to running, he collapses in a heap after 3 miles, whereas I can plod on forever. We are both fit but have different kinds of fitness. His relates to physique and strength whereas I have stamina and endurance. I guess it’s a case of different horses for different courses.

Today taught me a lesson. Have you ever set out to hurt someone emotionally but ended up only causing pain to yourself? I know I have, and still do. We need to let go of those petty grudges and move on. They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but its best to scrape those leftovers into the bin and start afresh. Otherwise you will end up with a badly bruised ego. And possibly a broken thumb.

Have you ever thrown a punch in anger?

Do you struggle to let grudges go and move on?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

43 thoughts on “Another Day, Another Mid Life Crisis

  1. What a fun post! It’s crazy how sometimes we do things we have no intention of doing. Like you punching once, then twice, then again… To prove a point. To yourself? And look what it cost you? Well, it did invite you to write about it. So that was kind of cool. And for me, unfortunately I do have trouble letting grudges go. I try to take the high road— Because I know in the long run nobody cares whether or not I’m holding a grudge or not. It only takes me down. Thanks again for a lovely post.

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  2. Yikes. Here’s hoping you heal quickly. Good lesson – memories and the past are just as impenetrable and invulnerable as your friend’s abs. You can’t dint them even slightly by attacking them.

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  3. I’ve thrown words so hard and loud that it hurt my throat and everyone who heard me as I crept away to hide (maybe). And grudges? Who me?? Ha… yes I hold grudges but getting much better at letting go.

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  4. ROFL – I punched a guy in the 5th grade and broke my hand. Lesson learned!

    I’m working on letting grudges go – it’s like getting into those blasted boxing gloves. It takes a hell of a lot of work and in the end, there is little satisfaction.

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  5. So funny! I used to nurse grudges but as old age sets in I have found holding a grudge hurts me more than any one else. Life is too short to hang on to offenses caused by others.

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  6. You reminded me of when I used to train in Muay Thai! I bought the gloves (still’ve them), but my wrist would hurt when I’d punch as I think it was probably injured from playing Tennis! I didn’t last. I had to eventually stop or I’d be risk injuring my wrist further. But was kinda fun while it lasted. I really wanted to feel strong and learn to defend myself if needs be.

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  7. I was always the biggest kid in school. Therefore, a lot of kids wanted to see what I was made of. back then we didn’t “fight” as much as wrestle and it was never out of anger. I’ve never been much of one for hitting either, Stephen, unless it was playing football and then it was a different story. I generally try to avoid conflict at all costs, especially if it becomes physical. However, I have thrown a couple of punches in anger over the years: once in self-defense and the other in defense of a woman being abused by her boyfriend. In both cases, I experienced true “blind rage” – I didn’t realize what I was doing until it was over.

    I do know that in the case of the abusive boyfriend the police and ambulance were called. After I gave the responding officer my testimony, he smirked and said what a shame it was the poor chap hit his head so hard on the concrete. That doesn’t make it right but I’m grateful for the pass.

    Over the years I’ve come to believe in complete non-violence. An outburst from me or any one else only seems to generate more violence. I do not wish to be part of the problem.

    I’ve also found it easier to let go of grudges. I have a friend and mentor I talk to frequently. He always reminds me that grudges and resentment are like taking poison and waiting on the other person to die.

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  8. To hold a grudge against someone for having hurt you is the same as giving them permission to keep hurting you.

    More than twenty years ago, I visited a support group meeting, and a participant said something that has stuck with me ever since: “I don’t have to give him free rent inside my head.”

    Holding grudges is too much work. I’m too lazy for that.

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  9. Ouch!!! I hope you’re ok…eep! I’ve never thrown a punch, but I’ve slapped people before. Pretty hard too, and in anger. I definitely hold a grudge too.

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  10. Funny stuff. I don’t see this ending well for your colleague. I almost always find a gem in your posts. “They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but its best to scrape those leftovers into the bin and start afresh.” Good stuff Stephen.

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  11. Unfortunately, yes and yes. I’ve had to defend myself and the punch was fueled by both fear and anger. I also have trouble letting go of offense, which is really saying that I struggle with unforgiveness. Thanks for making me think about this; pray about this. I guess I’m still a work in progress.

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  12. You reminded me of my older brother and cousin. In different situations but same thing happened, they tried to see if I’m doing great ( I was studying taekwondo more than 10 years ago). They wanted to test me. Both were laughing because my punches weren’t hard enough and I couldn’t hit them. I got fired up and I hit them on their nose. Now, that really hurts my fist. Also hurt them too.

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