Rolling with the Punches

Recently recovering from a lingering three-week bout of being ravaged by the flu and an ongoing losing battle with a sound engineer to get a four-month-behind-schedule project completed, I found myself suffering with a case of depression. I was down in the dumps! Or as Belva, my wife, partner, friend and confidant put it, “Mopey.”

I was buried under a mountain of unfinished projects, products of being ‘on-the-ropes’ with the ague; which left me questioning, not how long it would take me to dig out but if I could dig out! And the “Never Ending Project” wasn’t helping matters, either—my self-image, along with my reputation, looked to me to be, down-for-the-count!

I found myself contemplating giving up, ‘throwing in the towel’—I was asking myself, “What’s the use?” I had no energy. No ‘get-up,’ let alone ‘go.’ I spent my waking hours sitting in my chair, watching the news, old movies, new movies, anything but my work. I felt like throwing in the towel!

I have never been a quitter or someone you can back down. I was born and raised in a generation where you weren’t afraid to skin your knuckles or taste your own blood to defend your reputation, your turf or prove a point. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with cowboys, loggers, millworkers and farmers, many of which were a head taller and fifty to a hundred pounds heavier because of a disparaging word. And I was a boxer in my early years—128 fights, both armature and professional. And here I was, getting my butt kicked by an emotional condition.

It was right about then I remembered one of the cardinal rules recited to me by every referee, in every bout I fought in the ring , “Defend yourself at all times.” And one of the ways you do that is to ‘roll with the punches.’ For you novices to the ‘Sweet Science’ (Boxing), that means, step back or to one side as you are being hit, moving in the same direction of the punch, so that you do not receive the full force of the blow—takes the sting out of it.

I had been standing there flat-footed absorbing punishment like a punching bag, instead of up on my toes, rolling with the punches and giving as good as I got. Well, no more. I got off my butt, and quit having my pity party and got back to work.

I told myself, I can only do so much, but I can do a lot if I apply myself. I prioritized what I had to do in order of importance. I let everyone know I had been ill but I was back to normal and please be patient.

I’m slowly digging out from under the pile of projects that need finishing; delayed starting any new ones until I’m sure I can work them in; and with Belva’s help, set a fire under the sound engineer. The “Never Ending Project” is once again making progress.

Life can be a “Bitch” at times but if you learn to “Roll with the Punches” you can stay in the fight and maybe come out a winner. It beats the crap out of being ‘Mopey’.



7 responses to “Rolling with the Punches

  1. Chin up my good man. Big hugs and feel better soon. xoxo

  2. Your bug has hit our house. It laid Toni low for about three, as well. I have something different, however, and thanks to antibiotics, I’m back at work after only three days.

    As for sound techs—grrrrrrrr—I have a strong dislike for that occupation. They can be incredible prima donnas, viz:

    In 1997 – 1998 I produced a series of benefit concerts. Among all the top artists who offered their services gratis was Craig Chaquico, former lead guitar of the Jefferson Starship who composed We Built This City. In an 800 seat concert hall, Craig rightly had requested seven on-stage monitor mikes, requiring a sound board that took up half of one of the hall’s center rows.

    When I arrived at the hall post sound check, the tech ballsily announced he had only set the board for the headliner. Despite the fact colored sticky dots could have easily established the board’s slider settings for both the opener—a jazz ensemble featuring French guitar great, Jean Michele Huré—he refused to accommodate them. I was a novice and hadn’t thought to provide only half his company’s required up-front payment, withholding the rest until after the gig. Money in hand, the sound tech ruined the concert’s first half and left me with a face full of egg.

    • Watch the “Bug” — it’s sneaky and lulls you into thinking it’s gone and then jumps on you again. As for your “Sound Engineer” experience: It’s easy enough damaging our own reputation, we certainly don’t need the unrequested help of others! In some places what that guy did would be considered a “Killin’ Offence” at least his future in sound engineering!


  3. Wally, I’m a fan of the sweet science and you’re absolutely right – stay on your toes, keep moving – and you’re golden. It’s a great analogy for all of us – and thanks to Nike, there’s a great saying that I often use – Just Do It!


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