Home > Challenges, competition, Family, Fighting, Judo, Life, music, passion, social work > “You’re literally fighting.”

“You’re literally fighting.”

I am currently fascinated with this song and video, “I’ll Take Care of You” by Gil Scott-Heron with Jamie xx. The song and video are certainly not new. They are not even “new to me”, since I stumbled upon the video a few months ago.  But I keep coming back to it all the same. I keep thinking about her words in the beginning of the video as she talks about her training: “Who wants to fight all the time? Unless there’s something wrong with you.”

I think her story illustrates the big and small battles in life. Her big battle is being a 17 year-old mother. In comparison, preparing for her first Golden Glove tournament seems like the smaller fight. However, I think for her, they are intertwined. Raising a child and following her passion, boxing, are difficult and daunting pursuits, but both clearly bring her joy. She probably wouldn’t want one without the other. Her son motivates her to try her hardest in training, and her training helps her to have the dedication needed to be a good mom.

Of course, I don’t know anything about being a mom, especially one so young. And she probably trains for boxing a billion times harder than I do for judo. But again, her question, “Who wants to fight all the time?” makes me pause. There are periods when I feel like I want to fight all the time. I love judo for a lot of reasons, and for certain, one of them is because I love to fight. Sometimes, I think I need to fight. This is also why I’ve thrown myself into social work, which is a different kind of fight. With social work, I’m fighting for change, equality, and justice. For me, judo and social work are uphill battles, ones where I don’t often feel great moments of success. Nonetheless, I think it’s so interesting that the things that we end up loving the most are often the very same things that bring us the most heartache.


  1. jesse fahnestock
    June 9, 2011 at 14:56

    Lisa and I were just talking about GSH in relation to this song, which has been a big one around our house this year. It’s just a rare combination of music and personality … even rarer as the music was not made by the personality … rarest given the events that followed. The pace, the echo, the fracturing of his pleading ‘Don’t … tell me … I don’t care …’ it’s impossible to imagine anyone else singing this. I’m thinking now about your quote from the video. I’m guessing the video had nothing to do with him, not directly anyway. But those words could be about him, too. Gil fought all the time, by choice and by compulsion, with people’s expectations and with established values and the longest, losingest fight with the pipe and the bottle. Did he fight because there was something wrong with him? Or did the choice to fight break something in him?

    • June 10, 2011 at 01:46

      Those are excellent questions, and I think the answer to both of them is yes. I am thinking of GHH in relation to someone like my mom. And not to get too personal in a public forum, but she did have something wrong with her, so she did have to fight her whole life. But you can’t fight your whole life. You get tired.

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