Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

Do you know the greatest riches in the world?

Each human being is born in the middle of a path. They travel down that path in their lives. The path splits off each time there is a decision to be made. Sometimes the “correct” path is clear (don’t steal that toy), sometimes it’s not clear. (study to become a teacher or a musician?). As I got older, I realized that there is no correct or incorrect path…..only how we feel about the outcome the path leads us to. In relationships, in job choices, choosing where to move or what house to buy, etc.

When I realized this, it took some of the pressure off some choices for me, knowing that whatever I chose, I would make it work. Because I was alive. For an actual warrior, defeat is death. Life is great. Life is amazing.

I recently found out that two of my family members on both sides of my family have serious cancer. Actually, I found out the same day.

Actually, there is a lot of cancer on both sides of my family, with almost every female on both sides of my family getting some form. So much in fact that I’m pretty convinced I’m gonna get it eventually. That sounds uncharacteristically pessimistic of me, but it brings a determined resolution: I have to live as much and as hard as I can with the time I have, because so many people don’t have time. Heck, I could be totally healthy and get hit by a car and die. We all die and don’t know when. I don’t want to know. So therefore, every day I wake up, every time I eat something delicious, every time I go out with friends, I am glad. Every time somebody cuts me of fin traffic, I’m not mad. I think, “Whoops that was dangerous. I’m glad I’m alive. I hope that guy doesn’t have an accident down the line because he’s kind of reckless.”

Every time I start my car, I’m grateful I have a car. I feel the weight of responsibility that I now control this huge piece of metal machinery. In life, safety and life are the most important things. Everything else, EVERYTHING, is secondary or trivial. Clothes, possessions, what wouldn’t you trade for health?

I don’t mind leaving the nest, but I often wish I could be closer to my family and see them more than once or twice a year.

When I imagined winning the lottery or getting rich, in the past I thought of traveling to Brazil, or Japan a FEW times a year, and maybe going to Texas De Brazil once a month. Now all I can think about is helping my family and the people I love. That’s why I want to be rich. I remember watching TUF Brazil and like half the fighters were like, “I want big UFC money so I can take care of my Mama and buy her a house.” I thought, “Aww that’s cute and kinda sappy.” Now I totally get it. I would want to keep my old Toyota, shop at Walmart, eat at Taco Bell, and help my family.

I keep thinking about my beloved family members. I’m glad I just saw them earlier this year. I wish I could do more to support them. But I have to stay focused and keep chasing my dreams. We are all on our own individual paths. Other people’s paths sometimes join with our own sometimes, or run parallel.

We can’t always save other people. They don’t always do what we advise. Other people make their own choices and have to live with the results of THEIR decisions. They chose the path to walk down, and we can’t pull them backwards, or have them skip to another path. Have you ever watched in frustration someone you cared about making a decision you thought was “wrong?”

I’m kind of feeling down at the moment. When my mind starts thinking about all that, I try and make my emotions swing upward. I’m worried about my family, but I have to be strong, be positive, be grateful, be a good role-model to my kids (kids BJJ class), and do things that will positively effect this world that we live in. I’m grateful for the body and the life I have and I will never never take it for granted.

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