The boat was almost gone now, the last of it being lapsed by waves as the current was taking him out to only God knows where. The sea salt was already drying his lips white. His eyes were bloodshot from the stress and the water. Now what was he going to do?
The wreck all happened so fast. There was no time to find the life boat that was packed away somewhere on board. The other two went under with the boat and that was it. Now he was stranded, in the middle of the open sea; a vast desert with nothing but unclean, undrinkable water. He had the strength to keep him going for a few days, he knew that. As a boxer, you were taught to carry with you tons of stress, allowing for months to recuperate. He could surely sit on this piece of wood he found in hopes that something would come and find him.
He had no communication. He had nothing to eat, nothing to hold on to. It was just this man, alone, at sea and nothing compared to the romantic Hemingway tale. No, this was worse, real, devastating. The boxer had no legitimate way of reaching anyone. He didn’t even know where he was, just the direction he was headed and but after tumbling around, tossing and turning in the ocean, fighting the fierce velocity of the sinking vessel, he was disoriented. And thirsty.
How was he going to make it out alive? His parents and a few of his friends knew that he was going to be out on a trip. Meditation time with a couple of friends before the next big fight. Ironically, the ocean calmed him, now it would determine his fate. He grew up loving the ocean, making his way to the beach to swim almost every day as a child growing up in the Philipines. That’s where he started to build his muscle, his character, his every being. After training, he jumped in the pool, but nothing could relax him like the ocean waters. He closed his eyes and remembered the happy times that the ocean had packed away in its abundant memory.
If he had so much faith in the ocean as a boy and now as a man, why wouldn’t the ocean have faith in him? He sat there and talked to the ocean, prayed to God, telepathically spoke to his mother back home. “I’m lost. I’m lost at sea. Please send help.” He had absolutely no other choice. There wasn’t a paddle, there wasn’t another piece of plywood. It was just him.
After a moment, he decided to paddle. He looked around, as far as he could see and had no direction in what way he should go. He looked over his shoulder again to see the last tiny bit of the boat sinking to the bottom of the ocean. If the boat sank in the opposite position it had been going in, that means he should head west because that’s where the boat was coming from. He prayed.
He adjusted himself on the piece of wood, almost like a boogie board and began to paddle himself with his arms and hands, pushing the tons of water down below him. “Pace yourself,” he thought. “You don’t have the strength nor the energy to waste on a sudden burst.” He slowed down. He pretended he was on a long recreational swim. Except this time there wouldn’t be a luscious filling lunch waiting for him afterward.
There was no reason to think negatively now. Not at all. This was the same mentality he was going to bring to the fight. There is no losing. There is no “I can’t.” There is no “He’s going to kick my ass.” It was always positive. “I’m going to win.” “I’m going to take this to the third round.” “I’m taking home the belt.”
It was the same mentality. Exactly the same and he wasn’t about to let the cold ocean waters defeat him. He continued to paddle. He didn’t know how long it would take for anyone to find him, or if anyone would find him at all. He hoped his telepathy worked. He hoped his prayers worked. But if they didn’t, he was ready. He was going to fight every bit of his way back to where he needed to be. Little by little. “Let’s hope there’s not another storm,” he thought.
A man was drowning in the middle of the ocean. “God will save me,” he thought. As a boat came by, a man leaned over to help him. “No, go on,” said the drowning man. “God will save me.” He swam and struggled until another boat came passed, those on it willing to help him. “No, go on,” said the man. “God will save me.” Finally, a third boat came along and to it he said the same. “God will save me.” The man died and in heaven greeted God. “Why did you not save me? I had the ultimate faith that you would help me, yet you did not.” God replied, “I sent you three boats, all of which you allowed to pass you by.”