Back when I was an MMA Fighter

I grew up legally blind and was bullied. Being blind meant I couldn’t see the people hurting me. I was beaten by faceless attackers.

I never knew why these people hated me. I meant them no harm, but human beings often lash out at anyone, or anything, that is different.

Back then, I was defenseless.

After I got older and with my vision corrected, I joined a karate school. I learned they also taught kickboxing and MMA fighting, but I was told only guys could learn those.

So, I wanted to prove them wrong, signed up and began to train.

The first time I faced off against an opponent… I was afraid to get hit. I was also afraid to hit someone else. After receiving a few punches, also remembering all the beatings I endured growing up, I got over it and fought back… hard.

When I moved away to college, I left fighting behind and pursued other interests, but had proven my point. Any future assailants were no longer faceless to me. I would not be bullied again.

I enjoy watching “Cobra Kai” and saw “The Karate Kid” for the first time not long ago. I agree with the philosophy in the film when Daniel told Mr. Miyagi he wanted to learn to how fight so he wouldn’t have to.

The Pros and Cons of Social Media

Social media is always the subject of debate. There are pros and cons.

A pro: Imagine trying to get through this pandemic without Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Zoom keeping us connected while forced to isolate.

One good thing about social media is how it confirms we’re never alone. There’s always someone out there. And we can also be there for someone else.

How we use social media is up to us, so choose positive over negative interaction.

It’s helpful to avoid conflicts and seek out new friends to unite with versus people who want to argue and divide us.

Rather than disliking somebody’s post, why not find things to like? The recipient of your positivity will appreciate it.

Social media is not a problem unless you choose to make it one. Just like in real life, don’t go looking for trouble.

Seeing Columbo

During the pandemic, many people found a new friend in Lt. Columbo. A new generation discovered his TV show thanks to streaming.

I’d make myself pancakes on Sundays and watch him solve mysteries. It was like having breakfast with the great man himself… without the cigar smoke.

Columbo feels like a very real person thanks to the brilliant actor who portrayed him, Peter Falk… but did you know he had disability?

When Peter Falk was three years old, he lost one of his eyes to cancer. He wore a glass eye most of his life.

After his first screen test, the head of a studio rudely told Peter Falk: “For the same price, I can get an actor with two eyes.”

Peter Falk was dogged, intrepid and not to be underestimated… just like Lt. Columbo.

After his failed screen test, Peter Falk worked harder, became a great actor, received two Oscar nominations and eventually achieved legendary status as TV’s most famous sleuth.

COLUMBO, Peter Falk, 1971-93

If you didn’t know Peter Falk had a disability, that’s because he wasn’t defined by it nor let it stop him… and proved a studio chief wrong by becoming a better actor than most performers with two eyes.