So today I was doing a little research on my new sport when I came across a page of quotes from boxing great Muhammad Ali. One of them read, "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses — behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."
This is true of any sport. Without the time, practice, training, and work before a fight, it won't matter much when game time comes what you do, you're already beat. Away from the pretext of sports and applied directly to life, however, I think it becomes even more profound.
Life isn't the romantic nights, the perfect summer days, the special moments that we remember and hold dear. Life is the arguments, the million things that go wrong, the bills, the worry, and the day to day trials. How can we truly appreciate the love and wonder of a night filled with stars and wine without first making it through arguments, tears, and hard times with that one we can't live without? How can you truly enjoy a perfect day at the park with your kids, truly savor the smiles on their faces without first dealing with the tantrums and whining and horrible, never ending days that came before? Without all of that "behind the lines" activity, the end product doesn't mean much, does it?
The next time you have that great day, that perfect game, that special moment, remember the hundred other bad days and not so perfect moments that led up it and be thankful; you're enjoying the win because you put in the effort.