The Virtues of Getting Punched in the Face
I, by no means, look to get into fights. I’d like to think I’m in reasonable shape, but I by no means am a fighter. I’m not trained, and I haven’t been in a lot of fights. Most normal people don’t get into fights that often, and that includes me. I’ve been in a handful of fights and being completely honest, I’ve lost more than I’ve won. But here are few things that I’ve learned:
– The people who tend to start fights, are in fights more.
– As such, they get more practice in fights, and are generally better at fighting.
– The people that go looking for fights, are generally bad people.
As such, if you’re a normal person, you’re probably not going to win a fight with someone who wants to start one with you. The odds are against you. That being said, I have said, and will continue to say, “that guy needs to get punched in the face.”
I distinctly remember the last time that I was punched in the face. It was in the Southside in Pittsburgh, which, for lack of a better analogy is the frat row of that entire city. It’s just the worst. It thinks that it’s hip, trendy, and all those other buzzwords, but it’s Pittsburgh, so it’s none of those things. Anyways, I was walking back to my car after meeting my friend for his birthday. On the walk back, this guy started to jabber at me, which of course, I just ignored, as is my usual response, but all of a sudden I get coldcocked on my left jaw.
Getting punched in the face is not what the movies make it out to be. First, there is no comically loud *whack*. It’s a muffled thud, however, you do see stars for a split second, but that’s because of the split second blood loss from the torque in your neck. Somehow, I managed to stay on my feet, and I turned around, only to see a guy that had 5 inches and a good 50 pounds on me, with 4 other of his buddies behind him. I really think he was expecting to knock me out, so he didn’t do anything when I turned around. With adrenaline pumping now, I promptly vault over a car hood, ran across a busy street, and quickly got into my car, and sped away.
Now, being completely honest, you feel two things after being suckerpunched. One, you feel angry. Who the fuck, why the fuck, and how the fuck. Second, you feel emasculated. Some guy just decked you, and you didn’t do anything about it. It’s an insult to your manhood. In my mind, I fantasized about ways that I could get back at this thug, but that was all it was, a fantasy. Honestly, if I had stayed and fought, I would’ve gotten the shit kicked out of me, or worse. It took me a long time to admit that getting the hell out of there was the right thing to do. It wasn’t easy, and I still get angry thinking about it.
So then, why do I say that someone should get punched in the face?
Because it makes you humble. Because it hurts and makes you take a step back. Pain tends to put things in sharp focus, and most importantly it’s the instant after, whether you stay down, or you get back up. I think that instant reveals a lot about yourself, and what kind of fortitude you have.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are somethings worth getting the shit kicked out of you for, and there is a time and a place to stand for your principles, but some dingy street in Pittsburgh with some guys trying to mug you is not the time nor place. The Japanese have a proverb, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
And so we get up.
One. More. Time.