It's been one week since you looked at me
Threw your arms in the air and said you're crazy
Five days since you tackled me
I've still got the rug burns on both my knees
~"One Week" by BNL
In the UFC (and other MMA events), the fighters enter a caged Octagon to fight.
The cage is an eight-sided structure with walls of metal chain-link fence coated with black vinyl and a diameter of 32 ft (9.75 m), allowing 30 ft (9 m) of space from point to point. The fence is 5'6" to 5'8" high. The cage sits atop a platform, raising it 4 ft (1.2 m) from the ground. It has foam padding around the top of the fence and between each of the eight sections. It also has two entry-exit gates opposite each other.
Fighters are not like 'regular people'. They purposely engage in a sport where they will get hurt. There is no "if" – it is inevitable. Therefore, a good fighter knows that his (or her) heart, mind, and body must be completely in sync. The mental game is difficult – logic and self-preservation kick in as the adrenaline level raises. The physical exertion and pain pays its toll on the body. The drive and emotional control has to hold it all together. The heart brings everything together – making it worthwhile to get in that ring.
A friend told me that when it all comes together, "it is the most incredible feeling in the world. Nothing compares to it." I believe him. I just haven't been there.
But I will be. One day.
Life is the same way. It is inevitable that you'll eventually get hurt. And you have to make a choice:
Cower in the corner with a defensive stance, only kicking and punching when someone gets too close
Get out there in the center and believe the risk is worth the chance to do something that makes you happy
Is it truly so simple? Perhaps it is time to find out.
PERSONAL NOTE: I'd like to have dinner -- if you are still willing.