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Long Story Shortt: Break the Cycle

by Michael Shortt

Finally, the heat has let up. I can breathe again. The smell of burning wood, decaying leaves and the lack of humidity for the first time in months makes this my favorite time of year. Thoughts of apple cider rather than pumpkin spice linger in my mind at all times. 

It makes me feel like I am camping, although I haven’t been in over 18 years. Some of my best memories have been camping and for some inexplicable reason, I just haven’t been in far too long. I’m making it my priority this year. 

There is something about the experience that makes it easy to let go of your worries and stress for a moment and enjoy nature that is somewhat unaltered by humans. For a pessimist like me, it is easy to see everything that people touch lose its value and beauty. I need to be reminded that not everything in nature has been altered to serve a purpose to us. I will do this by finding a campsite that has been altered to serve a purpose to us

Despite this being my favorite time of year it is also a time filled with loss, anger and resentment. It is the time of year I realized my previous marriage was lost. At the same time, I lost my grandmother to her battle with cancer. 

It is the time of year I became estranged from my father’s side of the family. Giving up a few of my favorite annual traditions. The big family camping trip in Westmoreland, Va. and the Maryland Renaissance Fair. Things I looked forward to each and every year became places I had to avoid for fear of seeing my own family. 

Year after year I approach this season with these conflicting feelings. Regardless of how my life is going at that moment, it is easy to fall into a depression thinking about all that I have lost. 

I decided to actively put an end to that cycle this year. While struggling to name this edition of “Long Story Shortt” I finally landed on “Break the Cycle” and immediately thought of an album I listened to religiously of the same name by the rock band Staind. One lyric stood out to me and strangely enough fit this theme.

“My life is the 23rd hour of day / Once said that everything goes, by yesterday”

Despite the joy of the present it is easy to live by what happened yesterday and it will continue to control you if you let it or you can move forward. I am going to stop dwelling on the past and use my favorite season to create new memories with my family. 

In the next two weeks, I will have a camping trip fully planned. I will also seek out a new family tradition, whether it be the renaissance fair that I have been actively avoiding or a new one exclusive and special to us. Most importantly, I am going to stop holding on to all of the anger and resentment I hold from my past and taking it out on the people I have in my life today. 

It is important to remember our past. To hold on to the life lessons we’ve accumulated on the journey. It is not beneficial, however, to hold on to the feelings we’ve bottled up during that time. Those bottled feelings do not age like fine wine. 

I can say with all honesty that this annual cycle of depression has robbed my family of creating new traditions and memories and taken away the possibility of this becoming their favorite season as well. For the sake of everyone around me, it’s time to move forward.

It’s easy to associate fall with loss. Leaves fall from the trees leaving them bare and creating a mess in your yard. The last of the crops are harvested and nothing seems fresh anymore. We migrate indoors to see less and less of the sun every day. 

The other side of that argument is for taking in the brief week or two of gorgeous colors the leaves become right before falling. Embracing the last harvested fruits and vegetables at festivals and farms. And just enjoying the fresh air and autumn sunsets that happen right before it’s too cold to leave the house.

Perspective is everything and the only way to move forward is to be more optimistic moving forward. I will try to keep that same optimism while reflecting on one of my absolute favorite fighters, Nick Diaz.

UFC 266: Robbie Lawler vs. Nick Diaz (Recap)

I approached this fight very adamant that Diaz would dominate. As fight day got closer it became more and more apparent that something wasn’t right with Diaz. He is known for his confidence and trash talk and throughout all the press events we got the opposite. Diaz was very unsure or himself and hinting at a loss before ever stepping into the octagon. 

His opponent, Robbie Lawler looked as good as ever throughout the fight, landing big shots at will and moving forward at all times. Diaz landed often, just not with the aggression and confidence we’ve come to expect.

Nick Diaz’s career UFC record is now 26-10-0 after his loss to Robbie Lawler.

His usual strategy is to land constantly and hit harder as the fight goes on while his opponents wear down. It was clear by the 3rd round that he was not going to be picking up the pace. Diaz was hit with a big shot at the end of the round and did not get back up. It was not a knockout (KO) or Technical Knockout (TKO), he just did not have anything left. 

I’m sure every single Diaz fan was absolutely gutted seeing him in that state. He stood in the ring with the greats. He showed us that both Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre were, in fact, human. He looked them in the eye during those fights and told them they didn’t have what it takes to stop him, and he was right. 

It came to light after this fight that the UFC rushed him back after more than a 6-year layoff and he trained only 6 weeks ahead of this fight. It’s tough to say Diaz may be on his way out of this sport considering he landed 150 strikes in three rounds of his fight with Lawler. I also don’t want to take away from Lawler’s accomplishments on this night. He looked to be in his best form and earned the victory.

What Diaz has accomplished in this sport is unbelievable. He was never a UFC champion and it wasn’t always about wins. It was about never backing down and standing up to giants of this sport while making them look mortal which ultimately broke a cycle of the UFC. Diaz made his own decisions and followed his own path. He will go down in history as one of the all-time greats. 

UFC Fight Night: Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker

Monkey Knife Fight Knockout Kings: Pick three fighters who will win by KO, then pick a goal. 

  • Get one right and earn 1.25x your money. 
  • Get two right and earn 2.5x your money.
  • Get three right and earn 6x your money.

Johnny Walker

Johnny Walker is coming into this fight 5-2 in the UFC. Four of those wins have come by TKO/KO. He is fighting Thiago Santos who is coming off of a three-fight losing streak and will also be looking to strike for this fight. 

It is typically a safer bet to go with heavier fighters since they finish more fights so one safe strategy is to go with both Walker and Santos for two of three picks and get one right earning 1.25x your money… but who wants to play it safe. 

Mike Breeden

Although I tend to stick to the bigger fighters I believe whoever wins this preliminary fight will win by KO. Alexander Hernandez is an aggressive fighter who will be moving forward the entire time looking for big shots. He tends to land them but also leaves himself open in the process. 

I believe a boxer like Breeden holds the advantage here and with eight wins by knockout will catch Hernandez with counter strikes. 

Alejandro Perez

Alejandro Perez and Johnny Eduardo are two exciting fighters with exciting styles that may both be on their way out. Both will be desperate for a win here and I believe Eduardo, now in his 40s, and on a two-fight losing streak, has seen his best days.

Perez was a great up-and-coming fighter who suffered a brutal KO and took some time off. I believe that time off was the wise decision to avoid more damage from that KO than he could have. I believe Perez is the fighter here with more to lose.

“Now the night is coming to an end… The sun will rise and we will try again.” – Twenty One Pilots

Thank you for allowing me to share this. @3rdandShortt

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