Thursday, March 19, 2015

IN YOUR CORNER

“I’m in your corner.” Have you ever heard that before? Of course you have, we all have. At one time or another we've all had this said to us as an encouragement, as a vote of confidence or we've said it to someone. But have you ever wondered what it really means to be in someone’s corner? Too many times we blurt out a phrase without really thinking about it and maybe you have done so with this boxing reference. It isn't unusual for people to go to the boxing world to illustrate a point they want to make. Even the Apostle Paul did so (1 Corinthians 9:26). So what about being in someone’s corner, what does it mean?

First it means Believing in that person before the fight even begins. When I was in high school I did a little boxing at the Westwood Boys Club. What I learned in that time was if the trainers believed in the boxer then the training would be focused and often times hard. They would spend time with the boxer long before he ever stepped foot in the ring. They helped the boxer stay focused during the exercises when he just did not want to go on and helped him be prepared for the battle in front of him. There is a lot of pre-fight work to be done and only those who believe in the boxer will be willing to invest the effort it takes.

Secondly, is Encouragement during the fight itself. Remember watching the movie Rocky? When Rocky was in the ring during the fight of his life against Apollo Creed his trainer, Micky, was shouting instructions and encouragement from the corner, especially when Rocky was on the ropes. Being in someone’s corner means being encouraging to them especially when they feel like the fight is too much. Although the fighter is in the ring alone, he mustn't feel as if he is. That’s when the corner team comes in with encouragement, especially when he is on the ropes.

Thirdly is Tending to the fighter between rounds. Each round is three minutes of hard blows and body punches. It doesn’t sound like a long time but it truly is. I equate it to standing in front of a crowd to give a speech for the first time. Even if it is only a minute speech, that minute can seem like an eternity. The same is true in boxing then add in someone who keeps hitting you in the head. However, after each round is 2 minutes of rest where the trainers give you a drink, instructions and tend to any cuts you might have from the battle, plus you get to sit. When we are tired from our battles and life’s struggles, we also need the rest and someone there to tend to us. Mend our bruised spirit, lift us up when we want to quit and take care of our wounds.

Finally, win or lose those in the corner are there to Support the boxer. It’s easy to be there for the victory. It’s a celebration, with cheering, laughter and pats on the back. We all need someone to celebrate our victories with. It’s sad to be victorious, yet celebrate alone, which does happen on occasion. What’s worse is the defeats. You are battered, bruised and just plain beaten down when you look around to see who is there. For many, there is no one to offer support or comfort. No one to say, “You’ll get’em next time.” You look back at your corner and those who said they would be there have left. However, those who are truly in your corner will always be there, maybe annoyingly so – ha ha. But they are there.

Next time you tell someone, “Hey, just so you know, I’m in your corner.” Take a moment to reflect on what it means to truly be in their corner. Then be there, they…I need it.