That’s Showbiz! And A Special Thank You

/ / VLOG

First, I’d like to thank everyone who wrote or called me yesterday offering their support to me. It was extremely touching. I will never forget you folks for being there for me.

They say death and divorce are the two biggest stress events. I’ve certainly gone through enough death the last 2.5 years. As far as divorce/separation, in any relationship both parties have to continue to work at it, just like in training. For example, when one party refuses, or doesn’t sense where the problem actually is, both parties inevitably suffer. Sometimes the best gift you can give someone is a “mirror”. I know there are times I can use one (and no, not to look at my thick, Italian hair…lol). Looking deep within yourself, you’ll most likely find the answer you are looking for.

Divorce/breakups shouldn’t equate to hate, or destruction, or ill will. It should equate to self reflection. It should be an adult “time-out” to take an inventory of all the good and bad in both yourself and your partner. And it’s not a numbers game. Keeping score is a death knell to any relationship. Rather, it should be used to see where you and you alone faltered. Be it in your own character flaws, or in how you handled your significant other’s flaws and faults. Interaction is the foundation of responsibility. When you interact with anyone or thing, you now have a degree of responsibility, albeit shared perhaps. So understanding that, you and your significant other are both responsible for what happens in the relationship. Do not allow one person or the other to try to lay blame solely on one person’s shoulders. I know in my own life I’ve allowed my emotions to get the best of me at times. Some people write it off as me being a passionate, romantic Italian. One friend says it’s the WOP in me. But I told him honestly, I’m not a WOP (which is a derogatory slang, short for without papers), I’m a WIP (a work in progress). And I believe we all are WIPs. But that should not be an excuse. That should be a motivating factor to ignite the desire for me to improve.

Did I make mistakes in the marriage? You better believe I did. Did my wife make mistakes? You bet she did. But in the end it shouldn’t be a competition as to who was the better/worse spouse. They say a woman needs to feel love and a man needs to feel respect. I cannot disagree with that at all. So it was with that framework (love/respect) that I did my self reflection. During such and such an event, did I show my wife love? Did she feel my love? Did she show me respect? Did I feel respect? And therein lies the hidden trap door. I may have felt love for her, but she didn’t feel it. She may have respected me, but I didn’t feel it. It’s much more than the buzzword “communication.” You can communicate without getting the point across. Words (and even actions) at times are an ineffective vessel of true emotions and feelings. Each and every one of us has said things, both good and bad, that we didn’t mean. But in the end whether it was my ego or her ego, or my moral compass or her moral compass, or some other thing at play, we both failed at making each other feel what we craved. It wasn’t enough for me to love my wife. I failed to make her feel it. And it wasn’t enough for her to show me respect. She failed to make me feel it. It’s the same thing in coaching. You may have the greatest techniques in the world to share and loads of happy, successful students, but if the one student can’t “get it”, be it by some fault of yours or theirs, you’re nothing more than run of the mill in that context. I can tell you this, my wife certainly is not run of the mill….lol. She’s definitely world class. We just never could sustain the feelings we needed. And that is the truly sad part of all of this. Do I love my wife? I love her more than anyone/anything in the world…..”and that’s all I got to say about that.”

Now….here are some thoughts I felt compelled to share this morning. Apply them to your life as you choose to see fit.

I’ve said so many times that you have to be a critical judge of yourself. Take self assessment. Not just in your training, but in your life. Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” That is so true. But to take it further, people need to know their faults and how deep they run and can affect others. Minimizing your faults by pointing out others’ faults is not a sound way to operate. Do you avoid learning to punch because your takedowns are so good?

There was a proverb I was told when I was 18 by a man in Cleveland named Rich. The proverb was, “He who says he has no faults, now has one more.” He also told me another one, “He who lives more lives than one, more deaths than one must die.” Those words have stuck with me for over 30 years. Sound, sage advice. I’m sure you all have run into someone who stated something like this, “I know I have faults…but.” That’s a classic example of deflection. Coaches do this quite often in the sense that “Coach Jones may teach great kicks, but I can avoid them and get the takedown,” as an example. A much better way to deal with it would be to say, “Coach Jones teaches great kicks. I admire that and really should get better at doing/coaching kicks myself.” Or, “Maybe you should train with Coach Jones to improve your kicking?” In essence, stop and deeply analyze your own faults or limitations and work like a dog to improve or eradicate them.  If you keep on “cutting someone down to size”, eventually your blade is going to get dull.

Much like in training, someone has to recognize the issue at hand and go to work improving it. Passing blame, non acceptance, turning a blind eye, these reactions will doom you no matter what type of scenario they are in. Like a striker who thinks he needn’t learn ground fighting because his punches are so great, he may eventually find himself in a whole world of hurt. It is this recognition that needs to be established. “What do I really need to work on? How can I improve? Where/who can I go to to help make me better?”

And like I mentioned on a previous video, respect…it isn’t something that is earned. It should be something that is instilled in all of us. If you don’t respect your coach, or the gym, or the training partners, yet everyone else seems to not have a problem, maybe the problem lies in you? Can you lose respect for someone? Of course. But in order to lose it, you have to give it first. And until you can fully and unrestrictedly give someone respect, the playing field is unleveled. Respect is something each and everyone of us should be carrying around inside of us, busting the door down to get out. I’ve given out respect more than a world class salesman gives out his business card. And yes, there are people I no longer feel respect for. But it isn’t because they didn’t “earn” it, it’s because it was lost emotionally by their actions either towards me, or others. Funny thing is? I’ve regained the feelings back again to some of the folks and not because they “earned it” like some sort of reward coming from the high and mighty Tony Cecchine. But because I could see them in a different light so to speak. Like in fighting, it’s all about angles. And when I “saw” them from a different angle I realized that it was me who was mistaken to begin with.

I will leave you with this:

A woman awoke during the night to find that her husband was not in bed. She put on her robe and went downstairs. He was sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in front of him. He appeared to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She saw him wipe a tear from his eye and take a sip of his coffee. “What’s the matter dear? Why are you down here at this time of night?” she asked. “Do you remember twenty years ago when we were dating and you were only 16?” he asked. “Yes, I do,” she replied. “Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car making out?” “Yes, I remember.” “Do you remember when he shoved that shotgun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter or spend twenty years in jail?'” “Yes, I do,” she said. He wiped another tear from his cheek and said, “You know…I would have gotten out today.”