Heros Don’t Die, Unrealistic Expectations Do
Last weekend I saw Fedor Emelianenko lose (technically) for the second time an an illustrious 10 year career. I, among many others throughout the world, worshiped Fedor as if he was some sort of mythical being. He had a pudgy body type (more like my own, than one of an ideal professional athlete), an ice cold look in his eye and the repeated good fortune of besting each and every opponent he faced in MMA, one fight after another.
Last year, Fedor lost (again, technically) for the first time in his career. For months, articles were written about how everything he was, everything he stood for as a man and a fighter was a hoax because his aura was defeated by submission on one single night. MMA fans who were skeptical of Fedor’s overall presence as the number #1 pound for pound great of the sport because of his absence from the premier organization (UFC) were quick to jump on his back as detractors from the previous 9 years where Fedor tore through every single opponent he faced.
Instead of coming back strong, Fedor faced an absolute MONSTER of a man in Antonio Silva and was beaten to a TKO victory after the doctors declared Fedor’s eye too swollen for him to continue. Fedor gave a good back and fourth effort throughout the fight, but Silva was the better man. That is okay in my eyes.
I’ve been nothing but thrilled watching Fedor fight since 2001. Every time he steps in the ring, I watch. I know he’s human, yet his capabilities astound me regardless of the outcome.
When you witness something evolving as once-in-a-lifetime or being truly special in relation to the time and place in which you stand, sometimes it’s okay to just witness it happening as it moves along. You don’t have to invest yourself in the success or failure of it as it relates to you as a human being. Seeing a progression of excellence suddenly halted, regardless of the relative span or magnetite of that greatness’ existence, should be enough. However, resting one’s ability to relate to happiness and the self on the success of external factors (all of which result in decay and eventual…. I don’t know….) is a good way to wind up sad, depressed and constantly let down by the world around you.
If you witness something special, enjoy it. If you’re part of it, even better. If it fails, watch the failure, learn from it and keep moving. You can build something yourself that may not reach the level of greatness which most desire, but it might just be enough to sustain you while enjoying the happiness that matters.
As for Fedor, he’s still my hero. Haters gon’ hate.