At 5 am every day the alarm clock sounds and the five-time Boxing World Champion Gwendolyn O’Neil daily devotion begins. Any boxer knows the importance of roadwork but few can rise before the sun to catch the blessings that come from the stillness that the early morning brings. The first rung in this ladder is discipline, as in disciples who follow a righteous cause. Her stride is consistent and her breath is like the wind, ever flowing, never out of breath because she is one with the wind. Dedication to the cause is foremost in her mind when she rises in the morning to run her daily miles.
“I respect my opponent but I’m here to beat and beat out.” Simple words from Gwendolyn but in this statement there is an underlying honesty that is hard to find in today’s society and a focus (eye of the tiger) that makes champions. The second rung in the ladder is two-fold, honesty and focus. The champ is here to do a job and will not allow any distractions or temptations to stop her from achieving her goal. Put on the gloves; step in the ring, no time to waste, no hesitating, when the bell rings it’s time to work. No sugar coating what she does, boxing is a brutal sport so “beat and beat out” keeping it real as the Americans say is honesty.
The third rung in the ladder is love. Love is in the heart and cannot be measured but it is displayed through passion. O’Neil loves to fight and loves to love. She has five children of her own and has adopted two more children to bring the total to seven children. By no standards is she wealthy, so this labor of love to fight and to raise children can only come from passion. A native American writer once said, “Be good to those around you and do all things with passion. Give all that you can. Remember, life is short and death is long.”
Faith is the fourth rung in the champion’s ladder. Anyone that knows the World Champion Gwendolyn O’Neil aka “Stealth Bomber” aka ”Big Red” knows she is a very spiritual woman. Her belief in the unknown is steadfast because it is there. The same principle allows the rain dancer to make it rain…the rain is there, you just have to call it. An almost four-year layoff from the ring has tested her faith in more ways than you can imagine yet she prevailed to win again against all odds. World title five came 11 years after her first world title in 2004.
Endurance completes the last rung in the ladder. The pains that she has suffered and the trials the champ has experienced were not wasted. O’Neil, Guyana’s Queen of Boxing, has endured patiently and has been molded into a purified, tender, charitable, noble and courageous human being….worthy to be called a hero. Her greatest glory is not in never falling or winning several World Championship Boxing titles but in rising every time she falls. Her happiness can scatter a thousand sorrows.
Guyana is facing tremendous obstacles but if there is beauty in character, harmony will reside in the home. Harmony in the home leads to order in the nation which leads to world peace. Lift up all the beautiful characters to the light so that we can live in harmony.