My memory is tattooed with the fascination of people I have encountered and shared life moments with, especially when I was younger. The common things these people share are their aura, abundant charisma, wisdom and, above all, a sense of resilience that only time and experiences can give them. I was determined to learn from their experiences and to develop these characteristics for myself.

One of the most exceptional people I’ve met was my first and main boxing coach, Alex Merialdo. Every single thing he shared with me has shaped my spirit and given me the traits I need to overcome situations in my own life.

Driven by my passion and dedication, I’ve worked hard to attain and accumulate the necessary skills I needed to achieve my sporting results. Still, Alex was always able to break down my technique and apply corrections to improve my performance. This was coupled with his stubbornness to make me do the same repetitive movements until I developed the optimum technique.

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I’m thankful to Alex. Beyond the ring, he prepared me for the challenges and years ahead. He humbled me in so many ways and gave me my hunger for knowledge and my drive for achievement. He would always push me to succeed by testing how determined I was and motivated me whenever I “hit the wall”. He also forged the resilience of my mind.

Today, we are all neck-deep in the championship rounds that never seem to end. More than ever, we need resilience to face our collective heavyweight opponent: the current global pandemic.

Our inner fighting spirit and agile persistence will help us to endure and overcome this tough, prolonged period. At the same time, it’s also important to occasionally pause and observe. Sometimes, inaction helps us make the right choices in the long run.

You will lose rounds but do not ever give up on your will to win this fight. Our success will not necessarily be measured financially but rather by how strong and dexterous we will emerge at the other side.

All of us have our own versions of Coach Alex to look up to. You may even be one yourself! Invite them into your corner and humbly listen to their feedback.

Their experiences have been crafted and shaped by tough moments instead of promising times.

Ultimately, the lack of knowing what lies ahead is best responded to by agility and embracing the craziness. The only certainty in life is our courage and commitment to take risks and achieve something. Each time we fall, we can only get sharper.

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Ruchdi Hajjar is the founder of The Ring Boxing Community, a partner at SGMC Capital and a member of The Peak Circle, an invitation-only community of changemakers and thought leaders.