Knock downs vs. Knock Outs

I have been quiet for almost two months. There is a reason for the silence. The year started off rather hopeful (or so it seemed). I had two interviews. One was for a position above my qualifications. However, it was a good interview for the feedback and a new contact. The other interview seemed extremely promising. I went through three interviews, preparing strategic plans, curriculum, and teaching a class. I had the final interview only to find out within three days that I was not selected. That was very disheartening! I was really depressed. It took the wind out of my sail. I had to make a decision. Would this be a knock down or a knock out?

I am a boxing fan due to my father. My childhood Saturday afternoon viewing of Little House on the Prairie was frequently interrupted with a channel change to ABC’s Wide World of Sports for the latest boxing match. With only one television in the house (back then it was normal), I decided to watch with my dad. Boxing became a bond between the two of us. It was my grief therapy after my father’s untimely death. I joined an old school boxing gym and worked out stress, anxiety, and grief in the ring and against the punching bag. One thing boxing taught me was that no one goes the full twelve rounds 100%. You may come out in the first few rounds like thunder, but generally you wear yourself down. You have a few rounds where all you can do is block punches and lean against the ropes. However, the ropes for me were a solace when I was in the ring. Against the ropes, I had my hands up blocking, resting and patiently waiting for the counter punch. Ali exemplified how rope-a-doping is not weakness, but a trojan horse for victory.

I also noticed that there is no shame in taking an eight-count. A knock down gives you a chance to evaluate and catch your breath. You can rebound from a knock-down. However, there is no recovery from a knock-out. Fight is over, throw in the towel. Upon relaying my disappointment of the New Year’s blues to family and friends, I knew there was no other choice put to get back in the ring. My friends are the most supportive and encouraging. Emails of don’t give up, this is a temporary setback, and new friends telling me NY needed me to stay and fight. For some time, I was inconsolable. However, with friends not willing to give up on me nor allow me to give up on myself, I resolved that even if I’m against the ropes, at least I’m still in the fight.

So for those of you experiencing disappointment when you thought a breakthrough was within reach, don’t give up. It’s okay to rest on the ropes. While on the ropes, keep your hands up to block punches, and breath. It won’t be long before you and I come out swinging. And when we do, watch out! In the words of my dad, the only thing that beats a failure is a try. So keep on trying.

Ronda Lee
Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Ronda is an attorney, writer, and entrepreneur. She is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post. Originally from Chicago, she has lived in Los Angeles and New York. She loves to travel and is passionate about education equity, especially for first generation college students.