Written by Ben Pherson   
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 11:55

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Each week Minnesota standout amateur fighter Nick "The Inspiration" Palmer is given a free pass to write about any topic, and he provides Minnesota MMA fans with an inside look into the world of fighting. Enjoy "Words of Inspiration.")

This week I want to take some time to tell everyone what I’ve been up to lately.

I recently decided to get my 8-year-old daughter Alyssa into boxing. I don’t have her sparring or anything quite yet, but I am putting her though some pretty rigorous training.

A while back I was sitting beside her in our living room at home, and as I was gazing into her eyes, I realized all the time I spent in the gym was time I wasn’t spending with her. I told her that I wanted to spend more time with her because she really is my whole world.

I told her that I was going to give up fighting because that seemed like the only way I could spend more time with her. She looked up at me and immediately started crying as she said she didn’t want me to quit and that I am getting too good to just quit.

I think part of her crying was because she knows how much I love fighting and training, and she felt bad about me giving it all up for her. And the other part of her crying was because she did want to spend more time with me. That’s when we

made an agreement that I would start bringing her with to the gym and getting her involved with training, too.


We are really inseparable when we are together, and sometimes it feels like she is literally attached to me at the hip.

Before she was born, I was in one of the darkest moments in my life, struggling with a meth addiction and trying to cope with the death of my mother.

There were times when I thought to myself that I didn’t care if I lived or died and death seemed like the only option for me. That all changed when she was born. I really feel like I owe her my life. As much as I love fighting, I love her 100 times more.

If it weren’t for her being born, I do not think I would be here today.

That was the path I was on. If I kept living the way I was before she was born, I’d either be dead or in prison by now.

Fast forward almost nine years, and I’ve been clean from meth and my life has never been better. My daughter and I are now currently training together, and she’s looking really sharp in the gym.

The first thing she asks me when she gets off the bus is if we are going to the gym or not. Right now, we are mainly focusing on mitt and bag work, while mixing in sprints and sit-ups.

She’s like a different person when she's in the gym. To see her push herself the way she does when she's tired really inspires me to push myself, too.

She's soaking up everything I teach her as if she were a sponge. As a father, I don't think there's a more important job than building up our kids by giving them the tools and confidence they will need in life.

There were too many nights I’d be heading off to the gym, and I’d feel like the most selfish person on the planet. Now, on most nights we leave together, as a family and as a team.

I needed to find a way to stop spending my time on myself and start investing it in others, and there’s nobody more important to me than my little girl.