As a kid, I always hated those old-fashioned fairy tales about Kings and Queens. It was never the fault of the story telling itself that made me hate them, but rather just the concept of royalty. Why should leaders be decided completely on their heritage? It takes more than just your blood to make you a hero. It takes guts, spirit, and perserverence to make somebody a worth while leader.
"Now students, who can tell me the origin of this quote?"
Without hesitation one of the student's hand shot up into the air. He couldn't help it; he idolized this man.
"Stayer, I saw your hand go up first. Please enlighten the rest of the class on who's quote this is and the significance of it."
"Well, Mrs. Devory, this quote comes straight from the autobiography of Steip Jordan," after delivering this answer the class let out a collective gasp.
"That is correct, Stayer. The world reknown boxing champion of the world, Steip Jordan," confirmed Mrs. Devory. "Now can you elaborate on the meaning behind this passage?"
"Well, he is trying to say that no matter who you are, or where you are from, you can overcome any odds if you really put your mind to it."
"Absolutely... Not! That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!" yelled out Mrs. Devory between her bursts of laughter, "He is obviously creating a social commentary about his distrust in the English government and how we were completely justified in conquering them, and every other country."
The class proceeded to laugh in unison with Mrs. Devory, mocking Stayer's belief in his hero. This changed nothing, though. Stayer had learned at a young age that he thought differently from most. When the Conjoined Countries decided that they needed to purge the world of foreign ideas and culture, Stayer knew it was wrong. He may have been too young to stand up (literally and metaphorically) for those being excecuted, but he could tell that it was wrong.
There are five definite things that shaped me to be the man I am today. The first one, is humility. If I went around thinking I was the best, there would be no room for improvement. I would still be stuck back in high school watching all of my competition slowly overtake me, and losing my chance to do anything great in this world. Instead of sacrificing my future like that, I pushed through and always fought every obstacle head on.
After the embarassment that was the new school system had their way with him, Stayer found the thing that kept him sane: Professional Boxing. He watched from a young age, and planned to continue for the rest of his life. There was just something in its simplicity that captured his interest. Two men enter a ring, both knowing that they are there to prove themselves. They know that there will be no tricks deciding the battle they are about to fight, just skill and ability.
Stayer reveled in joy as he plopped down onto his couch; he was in his own little happy place. The couch was incredibly soft to the touch, meeting his every motion with a fluffy pillow of enjoyment. In front of him laid out a simple wooden table, one that housed far more memories and secrets than the average coffee table. It had initials carved into the bottom, hearts sorrounding them, and a distinct oak smell that lingered and masked all other scents. This seat was his sanctuary.
The television flashed as Stayer's finger came down on the power button. This remote was an extension of his arm, an incredibly convenient extension that kept him from having to leave his throne. He was king here, and his servant was this infinite stream of information in front of him. This television never argued with him, it only listened to him, obliging even the smallest flick of his scepter.
Stayer effortlessly glided his fingers over the remote, punching in the number combination he had become so accustomed to. The screen changed from the boring dribble of the corporately controlled news, to the exciting trials of the boxing channel. Two men opposed each other, both getting ready in opposite corners of the ring. Stayer couldn't help but get excited.
The two men stood up, bulky statues ready to fight for dominance. The referee came into the ring and announced their names. John Smith and Eric Franklin, Stayer disregarded these names. They were part of the sellout group, the Patriots, who had gone along with the Americanization of the world. Nonetheless, they were idealistic young men who could put on a good fight.
They both touched gloves, the referee started the match, and the crowd burst out into cheers.
The second one, is a man's ability to perservere. There is always going to be somebody who is or was "better" than you. Don't ever let what people tell you stop you from being great. If I listened to everything I was told, I would probably have given up on myself and lived an unhappy life. Never doubt yourself; always keep fighting.
There he stood, a driven and muscular grey body of perfection. He had accomplished something the likes of which most people don't manage until they are twice his age. He achieved a higher level of ability and fitness, and it showed on his new physique.
The figure stood above a steep sloping peak, water cascading off the edge. This was the famous Kirijo Falls. Not only was it one of the largest waterfalls in the world, but it was also a meeting place of sorts for the anti-conformist movement. Many a movement leader had jumped off this historic waterfall. Stayer was here to get in a final leap before it was officially changes to the Freedom Falls tourism attraction. The irony was almost too much for him to handle.
Stayer was the idealistic American youth that the anti-conformist movement hated. He had gone through many of the same life trials that prominent members of the movement had, but he had taken a different approach. Instead of forsaking the change that had passed over the world, Stayer embraced it. He took all of the put downs and turned them into a driving force. His goal became to emulate the exact view of perfection he was never supposed to amount to.
The young man let out a slight chuckle as he stepped off the edge. His body hesitated a moment, in mid air, before acknowledging gravity. His descent started out feet first, but he wanted more of a challenge. He turned over halfway down, letting his feet brush against the cascading waterfall behind him, and took the rest of the fall head first. Stayer was overcome with a rush of adrenaline as he came closer and closer to the water.
It was like a bomb went off when Stayer hit the water. Waves burst out from his point of entry and splashed back and forth for a good time afterwards. The water came as a crisp burst of feeling against his numb nerves. As he came up, he realized the magnitude of what he had done. Sorrounding the riverbanks were a large group of anti-conformists.
The third thing a fighter must have, is the will to survive. No matter the situation, a man must always fight. If you are faced with almost certain death, keep fighting. Surrender is even worse than death; it means that you gave up on your life, but you still think your life is worth something. The minute you accept that there is an obstacle you can't overcome, is the moment you stop growing.
An army of spiteful faces sorrounded Stayer. He wasn't the most popular boxer anymore, but he never thought that the world boxing association would let anti-conformist protestors anywhere near him. It was pretty obvious they wanted him dead; he could see it in their eyes.
Thoughts rushed through Stayer's head as to how he could escape this particular situation, but nothing seemed like it was going to work. The circle of angry rebels tightened around him, their expressions magnified by the glowing street lamps around the plaza.. It was time to take action, and figure the rest out later.
Stayer made the first move, throwing a left hook at the closest protestor, and grabbing another one. He quickly tossed the one he was holding, and threw an elbow at a charging member of the group. Another protestor grabbed his arm and tried to kick Stayer's leg out. Stayer quickly delivered a quick jab with his free hand, knoking the attacker off balance. He then grabbed the man's arm and flipped him into the group. This knocked down a few members and created a hole in the circle.
With a quick dash and a couple of speedy punches, Stayer managed to escape the circling group. However, they didn't just give up there. Some of the aggresors were extremely light on their feet. Stayer whipped his head around to get a quick glimpse of his attackers, only to regret it as he saw them swiftly close the head start he had gotten. He panicked and set off full sprint. Stayer was unfamiliar with the area, but anywhere had to be better than back where he just was.
The pathways around the town were pretty narrow, and this ended up working in Stayer's favor. He had found his way into the town's now deserted market place. Thinking quickly, Stayer ran through every alleyway he could find, knocking over stands and creating blockades of goods and rubble. This managed to distract his pursuer long enough for him to climb onto the roofs and make a speedy getaway to the train station a few blocks away.
Based on the position of the moon, Stayer gathered that the night was soon approaching its midway point; the last train would be leaving within the hour. He picked up the slack and leapt gracefully from rooftop to rooftop. He came closer to his destination, just being able to make out the outline of the train station. He watched as the final train rolled up along the tracks, and came to a stop. He tried to gauge his remaining time, but was cut shirt by a whizzing ball of energy by his head. That one blue furred aggressor had caught up, and was attempting to pick him off from the street below.
Stayer ducked close to the roofs of the buildings, and kept on sprinting towards the station. As the building took form through the nothingness of the night, Stayer heard the horn of the train. Loud audible whirring began to start just as he entered the train terminal; the train was starting to leave the station. Stayer quickly took off, and gave a leap of faith. He caught onto the tail end of the kaboose. He was safe.
Probably the most important thing any man can have, is the strength to lose. Always keep fighting, but never forget that you may lose at any point. If you do suffer a defeat, just acknowledge that you weren't strong enough and get back to training. If you can't win once, train and try again.
"In the red corner, weighing in at a sturdy one hundred and fifty five pounds, is our grand champion, Stayer!"
cheered the muscular grey toned referee. The crowd erupted; there was a pretty obvious favorite for this match. The crowd still adored Stayer after all these years, and they knew he never failed to disappoint.
"And in the blue corner, weighing in at a measly sixty six pounds, the surprise challenger, Rafael!" announced the referee, with an evident lack of enthusiasm. Sure, there was a bias, but neither competitor seemed to care. They both just wanted to fight; that was clearly shown by the fierce looks they carried. They could care less if they fought in this decorative ring, or on the streets of the city, they just wanted to fight.
"Boxers, touch gloves!"
Stayer approached the center, mirroring his opponent. Both stared intently at the other, as they gave a small punch to tap gloves. The anticipation almost became visible as the two adversaries crossed back to their sides of the ring. Stayer finally got a good look at his opponent; Rafael was a stocky light-skinned brawler with a certain spring in his step. His face resembled that of a lizard: sharp, pointed, and oddly smooth. He wore long rubber pants that appeared to be made of the highest caliber materials. Stayer would have been surprised if any punch could do damage through them.
Despite his small stature, Rafael was obviously a fighter. He had an extremely competitive moxie that was commonly found within his race, but he also posessed a rare body posture that just oozed intimidation. He was still young, but his experience was enough to request a title match. That spoke volumes to Stayer.
The bell finally rung and the two fighters drew in close. Stayer was well known for his ability to pierce any guard and never miss. The trouble this time, was that Rafael hardly even budged when his punches connected. A few flurries of quick jabs later, and Stayer's opponent hadn't budged. He still remained defensive, calmly raising his bodies natural defence. Stayer was trying to walk away quickly from the match, but the challenger would have nothing of that.
Eventually it got to the point where Stayer was doing next to nothing, and his punches basically bounced off of Rafael's sleek hide. Stayer finally decided to take a break and gather his composure, when suddenly Rafael switched onto the offensive. He made a quick step to the side, while faking to the other side. His fist connected quickly and easily, sending Stayer into a daze. The next punch actually drained energy from Stayer's muscles, leaving him off balance. Rafael's finishing move in the combo was a quick skyward kick that got underneath Stayer's guard and sent him reeling.
The crowd wasn't very happy with Stayer's current performance, and their cries of disappointment were extremely audible. The negative outcries only pushed Stayer harder. He quickly got to his feet and staged a comeback. He quickly started off by delivering a punch the speed of a bullet, and then proceeded to performing his signature haymaker. His fist came across like a jackhammer, crashing through any defense Rafael even attempted. It was a rather extravagant and dynamic punch; so much so, that Rafael had forgotten where he even was.
Rafael stumbled around trying to regain his bearings. Stayer took advantage of this, landing another dynamic hit. It was extremely effective and sent Rafael realing backwards. Things were beginning to lean in Stayer's favor, until Rafael finally snapped out of his daze. Realizing he was now on the receiving end of a harsh punishing, Rafael quickly readied himself and delivered an extremely unforgiving punch.
Stayer managed to get a quick jab in at Rafael's rubs, but it wasn't enough to stop the powerful punch's forward momentum. He watched as the fist collided into his chest and knocked him over. Stayer stared at the lights above him, only barely noticing the referee counting above him. He finally got a chance to take in his sorroundings, and it was refreshing. The change of pace really made a difference. Finally, just as the referee neared calling the match, Stayer stood up and readied himself for the rest of the fight. He attempted to tighten his focus, so that he could deliver a power filled finishing move; however, Rafael caught on too quickly and delivered a power packed headbutt straight into Stayer's diaphragm. As the air left Stayer's body, his world turned black. It was evident now that he was down for the count.
The final thing a man should always remember, is to follow his dreams. Sure, you could become famous and follow in somebody else's footsteps, but if you lose focus of your own happiness, it really isn't worth it in the end. I always had a dream, but to this day I never got a chance to fulfill it; my dream was to leap from a waterfall, and experience the rush of the world around me. Although I'm too old to do it anymore, I urge any follower of my principles to take on their own dreams and live to the fullest.