Si MasSo I saw a preview for a new movie the other day about Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Duran. That translates to “Hands of Stone” – and if you ever watched this man fight, you would know how fitting that moniker was. Duran was even once famously quoted with saying, “I am not an animal in my personal life, but in the ring there is an animal inside me.” He won world championships in four different weight classes and was inducted into the World Boxing hall of Fame in 2006. Yet, even with all of his accolades, he is probably most infamously known by most people for his bout with “Sugar” Ray Leonard on November 25, 1980.

Now this was a rematch of a fight from earlier in the year which Duran won, winning the Welterweight World Championship and handing Leonard his first loss. However, in this fight, Leonard came back with a vengeance and beat Duran so mercilessly that he didn’t answer the bell for the 8th round. He said, “No mas.” No more. He quit. But he only quit THAT round. Duran would come back to win the Light Middleweight World Championship.

We’ve all had those times when we wanted to quit at life. You just get so tired of taking the punches over and over and over again. So when you finally catch a break in between rounds and take a seat on your stool, you say to yourself, “This would be so much easier if I just quit, and didn’t get back up. Screw the bell, screw the fight, I can’t take it anymore, I’m done.” I know because I’ve been there.

I remember sitting on my back porch with a shotgun in my mouth. I was ready to throw in the towel. I was tired of the beatings that life kept handing me over and over again. In a moment of clarity, I realized that I was the one beating myself. I kept asking “Why me?” instead of “Why not me?” I realized that I was the champion of my own life. No one is going to fight for me but me; they can’t step in the ring and fight my battle. This is up to me. I’m here to tell you that you can weather the storm because it will be calm soon. You can take the blows that life deals because you can always hit back harder, faster, and stronger. The World Champion, Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, quit in a fight, and came back to be champion again. After his loss, he realized that you can’t ever let the pain overwhelm your mind, heart, and soul. You have to push back; you have to tell yourself how much you want it. You have to say “SI MAS!” You have to want more and always be wanting more. You haven’t quit your fight. You may have lost a few rounds, but you’ve also won a few rounds. Don’t quit – commit, fight back, and win! You have to keep fighting because this is The 12th Round, so give it everything you’ve got!

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