By Chace Saumell

“I’m not letting anything get in my way.”

That’s how I have always tried to live my life.

I remember when I was a little kid, my mom used to spank me. I refused to cry because I wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction on knowing what she did bothered me. She couldn’t hurt me.

As soon as I was done getting into trouble, I would go right back to doing whatever I was doing that got me the spanking in the first place because no one was going to get in my way.

One time I actually said to my mom, “What are you going to do? Keep spanking me? Ground me? Kill me? Eventually you have to let me go and I am going to try this again and again.” I was 4 years old when I said that to her.

To say I am stubborn is the understatement of the century.

I’m like a mule. You try to push me to do something I don’t want to do and I am going to park my butt in the middle of the field and make you work around me.

(That’s a southern analogy for any of you readers out there from north of the Mason Dixon line.)

When you are a kid though, things are different.

Life isn’t messy when you are a kid.

Your actions don’t have the same consequences as when you are older. Unfortunately, I am one of those people that have to touch the fire to believe you when you say that it will burn me.

I have had to learn every single lesson in my life the hard way.

My heart is so beat up and so scarred that sometimes I think the scar tissue is the only things holding it all together and keeping it from breaking into a million pieces.

It’s so interesting to me that when I fight I am the exact same way.

I watch so many fights all the time that you would think I would learn my lesson. KEEP YOUR GUARD UP OR YOU ARE GOING TO GET PUMMELLED. It’s basic really. You don’t have to be a fighter to know that putting your hands down is a bad move.

Chin down, hands up is the only way to be.

But even in those situations, I screw up because I think I know better in the heat of the moment.

Or when I am on the ground and I am trying a certain submission and someone has obviously escaped it, but I am of course too stubborn to give it up and try for something else. Even when Coach is standing on the sidelines yelling at me to try for something else, I don’t give up the choke or the arm bar or the triangle and then I get put into this pretzel type position and I look ridiculous. You know what? Just like the spanking that I would get when I was little, this is painful and I don’t like it, but I do it anyway because I am just that stubborn.

Well here is the deal; I think sometimes it’s hard to get rid of those habits and those ways that we so stubbornly hold on to, because pruning those things out of your life can be more painful than enduring the beating that you get as a result of holding on to them. I’ve just come to the realization that some people in your life can be the things that hold you back; even if their intentions are good.

The problem with that is, if you don’t endure that painful pruning, you will never grow as a person and you will endure more long term pain and frustration.

Lately, I have gone through some very hurtful things.

One of my best friends since grade school passed away and it crushed me and broke my heart.

Then, I found out about someone in my life that was someone that I cared very deeply about and I thought we were great friends was doing things behind my back to prove that they were not friends at all.

Oh and apparently, according to some people, me being a strong willed and independent woman is actually a negative thing. It’s “off-putting”. What? Are you serious? So because I’m a girl I should just sit here and look pretty and let everyone else do my thinking and decision making for me? Just exactly what do you want me to do about being independent? But I digress… sorry about that; got a little touchy there.

All of these issues and this drama take away from my heart and my energy and my focus a little at a time.

Sure I have thick skin and God knows I have been through worse, but the freeing thing is this… I don’t have to put up with it if I don’t want to.

All it takes is just pruning things out of my life. Not just people either, attitudes and habits too. If I truly want to achieve the things in my life that I see myself doing, something has to give. If that means I need to be less stubborn and more flexible… then maybe that’s something I need to work on.

Not to say I won’t still be as driven and determined, but maybe I have been confusing drive with spite all these years?

The pruning process is a painful one but all growth is painful.

I’m tired of being held back by the things in my life that I am stubbornly holding onto because I am afraid of how much it will hurt to let go of them.

Physical pain doesn’t scare me. Emotional pain is a different story altogether.

So it’s time to bite the bullet and tear those things out by the roots.

I have to do the thing that scares me.

Ghandi said, “Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s important that you do it.

So maybe this part of my life won’t change the world, maybe in the grand scheme of things, it will be insignificant, but it will change mine. It will affect me I’m ready to move on in my life and in my development as a human and this is the only way to make that happen.

So look out world… either get on board or get out of my way.

Bring on the pain.

That which does not kill me, better start running.

Peace and Love,



Written by The Sundown United

The SUNDOWN UNITED is a multi-faceted project that houses an apparel and accessories brand, and online-magazine(weblogs/articles). All ends of and begins with the Sundown United our trademark, lifestyle, attitude, and personal perspective on Americana art/lifestyle subculture.


  1. Chace,

    I must admit that I found this particular blog/article of yours extra inspirational. I find you and myself two peas cut from the same pod because we are both driven to success by the pain and the hurt from our intense past. That feeling ( I know loss and I know defeat and trust me- I am not losing again, not in this lifetime!) I want to tell you I am so proud of you, more then you will ever know. The strength that you possess as a mother, fighter, lover and human being would give any mythological creature a run for their money. Really, I think you are great! I think your writing is so brutally honest that it sucker punches you in the face of reality creating a deep connection between you and your readers. And truth be told, that is the grand scheme to life. We live to “Connect” ourselves with things, people, places, God, Love, Art – Words of Wisdom, Sun, Moon and Stars – It’s all relative, thank you for making me aware of my surroundings and what it means to adsorb something real when I read. Some -thing that allows me to connect with it. Please keep them coming and thank you! for your contributions to world. We appreciate it!

    Love the Universe and Julio


    1. That is so awesome Julio.
      Thank you for your poetic reply.
      You’re the best.
      You’re drive to achieve your dreams is an inspiration to me.


  2. Hey Chase

    Good read! I cracked up so often because I remember similar bouts with my mother. I too am very strong willed…so when I have this kid who is even more fierce than I, I can only hope for the best! One thing though is that a strong will is a mighty thing when it’s directed positively. Like pruning. Like the hard things we have to do. Like making up your mind about something that’s right or the right thing to do and NO ONE can talk you out of it. Be stubborn about forgiveness, boundaries, unconditional love, obedience to God, standing up for what’s right, etc and a strong will is your best friend. You have a WARRIOR spirit Chase. I think God is going to fine tune or hone that drive to see people healed, restored, and just plain snatched out of darkness. Keep on the path, you’re growing along the way. Love you!!!!!


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