Still I Rise

Battling anxiety is like being in the ring with Mike Tyson when he’s about to bite off your ear.

Anxiety is the favored opponent in every odds maker’s calculation.

Anxiety will always go nine rounds just to draw things out. Just for fun.

Anxiety is a sadist.

When Muhammad Ali said “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses—behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road”, I thought of anxiety.

When I stepped into the ring two months ago, anxiety was bare knuckled and I wore cotton mitts.

The crowd was on anxiety’s side.

The referee counted over me when anxiety celebrated.

I rose to my feet, unaided before he said “ten”.

I rose even though the ring was spinning.

I rose even though my nose was bleeding.

And once on my feet, I landed the blow, as Muhhamad Ali whispered in my ear “The Champ Is Here”.

For my father, who stands in my corner from Heaven.

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