The Power of Repetition

I’m an artist, not a fighter. But in junior high and high school, American football was everything to me.

In junior high, I legitimately thought I was going to make the NFL. Around my sophomore year of high school, I realized it was a pipe dream and went into a deep depression. So yes, I may know a little bit about how to handle depression. From experience.

I still loved the game, despite going a different direction. Once an athlete, you’ll always have it in your blood.

I started hanging with some fighters in college. A few of whom actually became professional and several still have careers today.

Fighting is an underrated art. A lot of normal folks think of fighting as entertainment only and have no idea the effort that goes into it.

You’ll do the same move. Over and over and over again.

You need an insane work ethic because the guy who you’re going up against also has an insane work ethic. You’ll have to be in insane shape as well.

I was never any good. Never close to competition level. Anyone on competition level is in a whole different category.

Still, in 1994, I timed a six mile run in 45 minutes. That’s the shape I was in.

Not for running. For fighting. I didn’t even take running seriously until this year.

Most importantly though, of everything I learned from fighting, I learned the power of repetition.

I’m a nobody in the fight world but I’ve still thrown a thousand jabs, a thousand crosses, a thousand hooks, and a thousand upper cuts. I’ve practiced shadow boxing on my own countless hours. I’ve wrapped my hands and punched various heavy bags numerous times. Practiced my kicks over and over and over again.

And brought that insane work ethic over to art

That’s where I have the advantage over these wimp ass “artists”. I see them on social media complaining about their parents, their anxiety, and how they can’t get into meaningful relationships. Woe is them.

Cry me a river.

While they’re complaining, I’m practicing strokes. Over and over and over again.

I noticed recently that I spend too much time with the eraser. I have a favorite eraser (yes, you end up having favorite pieces of everything) that’s starting to disappear. It’s funny because it’s a kid’s eraser. Yet it erases better than any of my expensive ass art erasers. I don’t even know how I ended up with it.

Well, erasing too much shows one of three things – 1. perfectionism (which is a curse, more on that another day), 2. lack of confidence, 3. technique needs improvement.

I’m by no means a perfectionist. Those people’s parents screwed up their potty training and it shows.

Lack of confidence? Definitely not me. I’ve been called arrogant more times than I can count by insecure losers who have never accomplished anything. Honestly, I’m not arrogant. I just accomplish a lot of shit. But insecure losers want everyone else to be an insecure loser because facing reality makes them feel bad.

So the third – technique needs improvement sounds about right.

Now going back to fighters

Amateurs will do hundreds of kicks and think they’re badass.

The pros will perform a move a thousand times and ask their coach how it could be even better.

Notice the difference. It is crucial.

There is always room for improvement. Always.

So it’s back to the drawing board for me. I bought a set of graphite pencils and started a new method of drawing. Drawing only. Watercolors aside for now.

Watercolors went on the back burner. It’s better technique time.

Three pencils – a 2B, 4B, and 6B. No erasers.

And ten minutes for each sketch.

These are two of my first three. The first one was Roxy. The second one was Allie, but it was really bad. I went overboard with the shading and I made her look bad so I won’t show it here. The third one once again featured Allie, but much better this time.

Graphite sketches of Roxy and Allie

Like fighting, technique comes with repetition. I already know what techniques I need to improve.

Apply this to anything

Smart people will realize that this article isn’t about fighting or art.

It’s about everything.

Have you ever met someone who consistently makes ten straight free throws in real life? I’ve known a few. They practice over and over and over again.

Have you ever watched a professional carpenter work? He goes “bam! bam!” with the hammer and the nail is all the way in. Then he does the same with the next nail. And so on.

It’s a thing of beauty.

Then the amateur goes “bam! bam! bam! bam!” and the nail bends and he has to take it out.

Sports are also underrated. Insecure wimps love to dismiss people into sports as stupid meatheads. Yet in real life, they still end up being the insecure wimp’s boss.

I wonder why that is.

(Actually, I don’t. I’m being sarcastic).

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