Over the weekend, in front of a sold-out show at Melrose Memorial Hall, I got in the boxing ring for the twelfth time and lost.

Just like any sport, losing is always a possibility, but people never like to talk about the aftermath of a loss in the same way we talk about the aftermath of a victory.

This morning on Michael and Maddie, Michael asked, “What were you feeling before you walked out for your fight?”

I never realized how heavy that question was until I was forced to answer it in a live microphone, but it was the perfect opportunity to talk about something that we all deal with at some point in our lives, and that is coming up short.

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To answer Michael’s question, I felt great. I had dedicated weeks of my life to preparing for this moment. I missed holidays, birthday parties, and get-togethers to spend my time training and sacrificing. I was ready.

And it still wasn’t enough.

When I left the ring and headed for the locker room, I was angry. I threw my second-place medal in a fit of rage and I cried because I felt like a failure. But as I collected myself, the idea of calling myself a failure felt silly.

The obstacles I overcame and the hills I climbed to get to that moment do not get washed away because I lost, and that can be applied to all aspects of life.

I will always prefer to be the person that wasn’t afraid to fail than be the person who was too afraid to try.

Losing, whether it’s in a kickboxing ring or in life, does not define a person. How that person responds to losing is what defines them.

Getting emotional on-air is uncomfortable, but so is losing, and if we are willing to openly discuss victories, we need to be just as willing to talk about defeat.

If you are reading this, and you feel like you have just taken an L in life, here is what I have to say to you:

Without failure, there will never be growth. Never be afraid of failure. Be afraid of never trying.

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

 

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