Daily Touch of Inspirations
May 21st: What kind of boxer are you?
Ryan Holiday, The 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
The Stoics loved to use boxing and wrestling metaphors the way we use baseball and football analogies today. This is probably because the sport of pankration- literally, "all strength," but a purer form of mixed martial arts than one sees today- in the UFC was integral to boyhood and manhood in Greece and Rome. (In fact, recent analysis has found instances of "cauliflower ear," a common grappling injury, on Greek statues.) The Stoics refer to fighting because it's what they knew.
Seneca writes that unbruised prosperity is weak and easy to defeat in the ring, but "a man who has been at constant feud with misfortunes acquires a skin calloused by suffering." This man, he says, fight all the way to the ground and never gives up.
That's what Epictetus means too. What kind of boxer are you if you leave because you get hit? That's the nature of the sport! Is that going to stop you from continuing?