Every man needs his own cornerman.
To a fighter, their cornerman is part priest, part motivational speaker, and part doctor, but also wearing a thousand more hats. They wipe the blood from your face and argue with the ref that it’s not impeding your vision and you can fight on. They tell you when you’re losing and need to go for broke and when you’re winning and need to protect your lead.
A few weeks prior to my last professional MMA fight, I pulled my cornerman and coach Chris Haueter aside before training in his converted Redondo Beach garage and confessed, “Something about this fight is eating at me Chris, I’m more nervous about this one than I usually am.”
That kind of vulnerability in the fight world can sometimes be shared with close teammates, but it’s standard operating procedure when speaking with a cornerman.
Chris took a second to scratch the stubble on his face ponderously and replied, “Good, now we know you’re not a sociopath. Go get changed and get on the mat.”
That was that. It was the perfect combination of acknowledgement, wisdom, and push I needed. I’d said my peace, he’d said his. Now it was back to the path. Back to training. Back to doing what I had stated was my purpose – preparing to fight.
Chris was holding up his end of the bargain by holding me to the standard and the goals I had set for myself, long before fear of the future had creeped in and was cutting into my focus and training time.
This was Cornerman 101. You need this.
Skillfully Used Pain = Rocketfuel For Growth
Hurt people hurt people, this we know. Looking around the world, what I see mostly is the aftereffect of unskillfully mismanaged pain.
Both men and women, but who’s doing the hurting? Mostly we are. You are.
We’re shooting up concerts, committing acts of violence against both sexes, and destroying ourselves in the process.
Why? Because we’re hurt and don’t know what to do with that pain other than lash out.
Now, this isn’t a poor us statement. It’s just a fact.
The shifting landscape of masculinity coupled with the degradation of our natural forms of expression has left men in an odd situation. We’re confused about our roles as men, underutilized as the world shifts away from needing our natural skills and talents, and feeling marginalized.
Again, no woe is me tale here, just what I see.
Take a look at any negative statistic from death, suicide, addiction, crime, lack of education etc. In all of them and men lead the pack. We’re really good and being the worst in a number of given categories.
For priding ourselves on our hyper competitiveness, we’re sure do suck at the things that really matter — not killing people, or destroying lives, and dying early.
However, this is not the case when men have other strong men in their lives. When we have mentors, guides, and trusted allies. While we are staunch individuals, men need a pack, we need teammates.
We need someone we trust respect, and aren’t trying to sleep with to hold a mirror up to our behavior and say, “You told me you were living by a higher standard than this, what’s going on?”
We need the non-judgemental hand of a brother on our shoulder during our toughest times. We need that same hand to pat us on the back to celebrate our victories, and slap us on the ass to move us out of a rut.
Men need men. Men need cornermen. The Cornerman Movement is just that.
A surge of men who are tired of being told they’re the problem just because we have the same X chromosome of the problem makers.
But more importantly, we are a surge of men who know that whether we are the problem or not — we are definitely the solution.
Do You Want to Be a Part of the Solution?
I’m looking for men who want to be part of the solution, even if only first by leading by example. I want to be the man in your corner until you’re ready to do the same for another man.
Email me at: email@example.com and let’s have a conversation about how you can get started.
Together we can change the statistics, and more importantly the stories those statistics write. Tales of pain, tales of hurt, and tales of hurting.
Every man needs a cornerman. I do, you do, and all the men we know do. Follow along and join the movement. Bring another man with you.
Welcome to the Cornerman Movement my brothers.
Yours in arms,