Nothing is worse as a parent than to know one of your children have gotten hurt.
Tanner is 19 now, and in many ways is still my baby, but is also just on the brink of adulthood. When he first started showing interest in boxing/mixed martial art fighting, I protested. I hated the thought of him being punched or kicked in the face or head. We had some arguements about it. We had some fights. In the end, the 19 year old on the brink of adulthood won.
I admired the fact that for the first time in his life, he approached training his body with great discipline. Faithfully he was running, going to the gym. That same discipline extended into his eating habits and nutrition. Which was very impressive considering how much he likes to eat!
Well, last night the culmination of all of the training, eating right and mental discipline came to one event-his first real fight. There isn’t pads or face/head protection in this type of fighting. It’s the equivalent of street fighting in a metal cage. Unfortunately, the guy he was suppose to fight backed out. The next guy they paired him up with backed out as well, leaving him with the third choice–a much more experienced fighter than Tanner. Had he only known.
The fight ended with Tanner being knocked unconscious with a nose that is fractured in three places. His eyes are black and purple. His lip is grossly swollen. His forehead is lumped up with soft tissue swelling. He spent a night in the hospital, checking CT scans, observing him.
What a painful lesson for him. What a painful lesson for us as parents. In a million different ways I have thought about how this could have been different, prevented. Obviously, the reality was Tanner had to learn this lesson the hard way. I praise God for protecting him. This could have ended worse than what it did.
I am happy to say that Tanner has come to the decision to give up fighting but continue to train in a healthy way–no blows exchanged.