The Face on The Bag
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
It’s you and the bag. For an hour. There may be music blasting, a pack leader on stage and a few dozen other sweaty people in the room, but at the end of the day, it’s you and the bag.
My first time at CruBox, the pack leader, Terry, suggested we picture a face on the bag to motivate us to punch a little harder. It didn’t take long for my imagination to flood with the smug faces of people I’d joyfully knockout if given half a chance.
I remember spending that 50 minute class watching the face on the bag rotate. From my ex who told me I’d never be successful, to the guy who’d broken my best friend’s heart, to the girl who cut me off in traffic earlier that morning. And with each new face that appeared on the bag, I felt my power reinvigorate - but eventually, that power would fade and I’d rack my brain for a new face to punch.
For months, I spent those 50 minutes between me and the bag, drawing from a power fueled by rage, pain, bitterness and a subconscious belief that, somehow, all of my problems were external. That if it wasn’t for the people who have hurt me or doubted me or cut me off in traffic that I would be better off; that I would be where I wanted to be.
But in an early morning CruBox class a few months ago, something shifted. I stood staring at the bag, waiting for a face to appear - and there wasn’t one. I spent the first half of that class half-heartedly punching the bag in front of me, discouraged by my own lack of motivation. And then it happened. A face appeared. And it was mine.
It was my face when I am frozen by insecurities, unwilling to take a step towards my goals. It was my face when I allow people to treat me in ways that force me to question my own worthiness. It was my face when I listen to the lies this world tells me to convince me that I am not, and will never be, enough. It was my face when it is warped and twisted by anger and envy, sorry and regret, greed and arrogance, self-pity and guilt. It was my face when I am consumed with resentment, when I lie to the people I love, when I allow my ego to grow out of hand. It was my face.
I looked myself dead in the eye and threw the hardest rear hook I’ve ever thrown. In my mind, I watched as my face swung to the side under the force of my glove and this version of me fell cold to the ground. And I knew I’d found a power that wouldn’t fade at all.
Because at the end of the day, it’s me and the bag.