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| 2 minutes read

We Don't Fight at 100%

When I was a rising associate attorney, I heard from another associate that the best performance review is a short one. It doesn’t take long for reviewers to say “thank you” to the rock stars. (Side note: besides thanks, rock stars also need to hear what they are doing well.) My reviews were helpful discussions of strengths balanced with areas to improve and develop. Strengths are easy to hear. It’s the improving and developing that takes mettle. I sat with the feedback and adapted.

Since I see the world through the lens of boxing, I’m thinking of Vasiliy Lomachenko’s loss to a younger lion this past weekend. Shouldering the weight of representing Ukraine on an international stage, bringing the experience of his untouchable amateur record of 396-1 (and he twice avenged that single loss), Loma almost achieved his professional goal of collecting all the lightweight champion belts. Actually, he should have had them already. Here’s the backstory:

  • Loma’s opponent, The Dream Haney, won the belts from George Kombosos, Jr., who won them from Teófimo López. Before all of that, Loma faced López with a chance to walk away with the belts.
  • Loma fought through an injured shoulder and had surgery afterward. The computerized punch scoring system (CompuBox) showed Loma landed more shots. Still, the ringside judges gave the win to López.
  • When the belts passed to Kombosos, Loma was the natural contender, but he declined because he was fighting a different fight in his country’s military.
  • When the belts passed to Haney, Loma returned. CompuBox showed Loma landed more shots. Still, Haney kept the belts and Loma wept backstage.

Loma dealt with a shoulder injury, the war in Ukraine, tough decisions by ringside judges. Otherwise, what might have been? What would we achieve on strengths alone with no headwinds; if our physical and mental health was sorted; if we came from secure and resourced backgrounds; if we weren’t managing imposter syndrome, world events, the consequences of our own decisions; if we weren’t pulling all-nighters caring for awake kids or aging parents?

It's hard to meet high standards that we set for ourselves and others set for us. It's harder when we're fighting at less than 100%, and when is that not so? Finding a way requires adapting to changed circumstances. The victories do come, although often not as we first imagined. Loma has no belts, except when World Boxing News updated its Pound for Pound rankings (a best boxer list), it moved Loma up to the fifth best boxer in the world, ahead of Haney in sixth place. Let's keep at it, adapt as needed, and find out what our unique victories look like.


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