maybe training in vegas wasn't such a great idea afterall... http://www.evantanner.net/journal Laughing at myself. Mar 20, 2008 I had to laugh at myself today as I was tearing the house apart, digging through my dirty laundry, checking the pockets of all my jackets, searching the bottoms of gym bags, storage boxes, and drawers, looking in the ash tray and floorboards of my Land Cruiser. Looking for some change. I just needed a little change so I could run down to the store and pick up some off brand tuna fish and a loaf of bread. I was starving. I've been eating tuna fish sandwiches for days now. Now you may wonder why a former world champion, a man who has fought in front of millions, a man who just weeks ago fought in front of millions, and man who is recognized on the street every time he leaves his house, a man whom you would think had plenty of money, had to resort to scraping together change to buy food. I'll tell you the story.I'm completely broke. My bank account is negative. I got myself into a pretty deep hole in more ways than one, in the two years I took away from fighting. I started getting my life straightened out about five months ago. I signed the March 1st fight and began training. I had some very good friends help me out with some money and help me get settled down in Vegas so I could focus on training. For those of you who don't know, when a fighter competes in the UFC, the purse is usually broken into two equal parts. There is a guaranteed purse the fighter receives just for showing up, and then there is the bonus purse, the other half, the fighter receives if he wins the fight. I knew that if I won the fight, I would be able to get everyone paid back, pay off the invoices I owed for the Team Tanner gear, pay my web designer, and have enough left over to get me to my next fight. Well, as we all know, the fight didn't go as well as I had hoped. I only got the guaranteed purse, minus the medicals and other deductions. Considering the amount of money I owed, this didn't really leave me much money to work with. What was most important to me, more important than my own comfort, was paying back the people that had helped me out, and paying off my obligations. It is nothing more than a man should do. I paid one month's rent, and one months bills, and put the rest toward paying off those debts. I took care of the ones I could, but I still owed thousands. I had a little bit left in my account, not enough to cover any of the outstanding bills, but enough to maybe put a little dent in at least one. But then it hit me, the thought that I could take what I had left down to the casino, and that maybe, just maybe I would get lucky, and make enough money to pay the last of my bills. That's what I did. I took my money down to the casino......And I did get lucky, lucky enough to think I was going to get it done. I played hard. I don’t do anything halfway. I put my time in. I was so deep into it that I lost reference. I went at is for a week and a half, staying up all night, playing blackjack for 24 hours straight sometimes, forgetting to eat, not wanting to sleep. I would go on a streak, start winning, and start thinking that I would be able to make enough to get all my bills paid. Then I would lose it back, and then win again, and then lose it back, and win again, back and forth, back and forth for days. In the end, I lost not only what I had won, but the little bit I had started out with as well. So I spent a week and a half gambling, staying up all night, not eating, dealing with all of the emotional ups and down of winning and losing, and I don’t have much to show for it, except that now I'm broke, I'm feeling really worn out, I'm a little depressed, and my sleep scedule is backwards. Now you may ask if I regret it, if I would do it differently if I could, if I would take it back. NOT A CHANCE!!!!! Oh, I feel a little depressed right now. I feel a little worn out physically. It does suck to have to scrape together pocket change to buy food. But I wouldn't take anything back. I went for it. I put it all on the line. I always will. I knew what the consequences would be if I failed, and I was willing to accept them. So any of you reading who might be feeling a twinge of sympathy, don’t. I made my decisions, and I accept the consequences. I’m no victim. And to those who are thinking about preaching at me, don't bother. I won't hear you. I haven't accomplished anything in this life worth remembering by playing it safe. That's boring to me anyway. ________________________________________________________________ Great accomplishment only comes with great risk. I’ll accept the crippling, gut wrenching disappointment of risking all, and failing, but only by putting my whole heart and soul, my whole being into something, will I have the chance to walk among the stars. Those who risk nothing, those who live their lives in fear, will never have that chance. Failure is not a sin. It’s being too afraid to even try, that is a sin. Okay, enough of that. So here I am, broke, scraping together change for food, worn out, just lost a fight, etc, etc, but life is good. What fun would life be if there were no challenges. I have a fight lined up in the UFC for this summer. Team Tanner is going well. The drinking part of my life is in the past now. No struggles with that. I’m just done with it. Training is about to start picking up again, and summer weather is on the way. Everything is coming together. I hope life's good for everyone today. The picture above was taken at the end of a week and a half of hardcore Blackjack.