Justin Ricklefs


What Happens When You Get Punched in the Face?

Growing up in Kansas City, I didn’t see the ocean very often.  In fact, I didn’t see the Atlantic until my senior trip after graduating from high school.

A group of my best friends and I went to Daytona Beach, FL.  Thankfully Instagram wasn’t around then mainly because I got punched in the face.  Hard.  Several times.  By a woman.

It was 5:30ish in the morning the day we were leaving.  Three of us were sitting in front of Krispy Kreme waiting for it to open to grab donuts and coffee.  All three of us were on a bench, I was in the middle.

There weren’t many folks around that early until a car pulled to a stop right in front of us.  A woman rolled her window down and asked us for direction to the pier.

Being sarcastic and immature 18 year-olds, we said we didn’t know where the beer was.  We exchanged seemingly innocent remarks back and forth, but our new friend was growing more and more agitated by the moment.

All of a sudden, her driver’s door flew open.  When we laid eyes on her entire body, she was well over six feet tall, wore knee high boots and had much more defined biceps than I did.

She wasn’t a huge fan of our sarcastic attitudes and told us so as she approached us with a pointed finger.  My best friends thought it would be an awesome idea to split and leave me sitting on the bench by myself.

Before I could realize what was happening, she started punching me in the face, repeatedly.  I’m certainly not the toughest guy in the world, so I screamed and basically went into the fetal position.  Confusion, chaos, frustration set in.

Soon, she got back in her car, sped off and left us outside of Krispy Kreme wondering what the heck had just happened.

It wasn’t a Mike Tyson uppercut, but I’m reminded of his quote, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”  I wasn’t expecting that to come from a six foot tall woman, but it did happen.


Thankfully that is the only time in my entire life that I’ve been punched in the face.  But life has certainly delivered its fair share of jabs and hooks.

At work and at home, it isn’t always roses and sunshine.  Seasons of confusion, chaos, and frustration have lingered at times.  But guess what?  The sun always pushes up the night.

I’m hopeful the punch won’t be literal for you today, but chances are something tough has happened or will happen soon.  Unlike what I did, you don’t have to cower in the fetal position.

Take the blows from life today but stay in the ring.  Keep swinging.  Keep moving forward.  The sun will come up.

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