The Fighter

I remember one day I realized I wanted to lose weight. It wasn’t enough for me to just lose weight but I wanted true strength to go with it. I was baffled at how many options I had. I felt like a character in a novel trying to decide which road to take. I decided to try boxing. I have seen the fights on the big screen and I have seen just how much power they held to easily intimidate those around them.

I found myself in a garage size gym with a trainer that was supportive and willing to train me from scratch. I didn’t realize just how much it took to get to fighting shape. I went day after day for months straight including a broke wrist. My knuckles developed calluses on each hand from punching the bag so much. I remember feeling invincible and my hands heavy from training. I could punch the bag and feel my energy run right through it. He called it Chi at one point or just your soul flowing through you and into your target. I had lost about 30 lbs and could run 7 miles a day at that point. I have felt the punches on my face and had little to fear compared to fighting a trained athlete. It was such a strange feeling, I had the power but it wasn’t worth the effort to use it if I didn’t have to. I had too much respect for what I have done.

There I was, facing 300 or spectators waiting for my fight to come. I could feel my hand wraps gripping my hands. I was in black trunks and in the red corner. I didn’t bring my family or any friends as I felt they would distract me. I was alone and that’s all I needed. They say the ring is just like life, you fall down you learn to get up and when in the ring of things there’s no one coming to save you. You have to learn to do things on your own and whatever happens was just the accumulation of events. I entered the ring, I see my opponent standing far taller, stronger and well trained. I was just thinking,

“God…every time…they send me a ringer”.
“Ten seconds left!” My coach shouted and said:
“Whatever happens…you’re already a champion..these people don’t know fear…it’s here! Right in front of you! I bet you anything they’d never face it..not in their whole lives.”

I’m not sure what I wanted, I just wanted to fight…I felt awake for the first time in my life. The thing that is so addicting is not so much getting hurt..but it was the realization that you’re fighting a dream. Someone has a dream of winning and moving on to greater things and here you are right in front of them! Suddenly it was just me and him..nothing else. No cheering, no jeering, just fists of soul. He missed a wide hook, I ducked got him with a straight right in his stomach hoping I hit the solar plexus. As the punches and hits kept going there was blood. I would get hit and the adrenaline and rush just overpowered that pain. I cracked a smile as he landed a powerful pot shot. I wanted more, I wanted to feel my hands again on his skin. I had no fear, I just had excitement. It was getting hard to breathe with this fast paced environment. Soon it was all over, I had fallen in good grace. There was no hate, there was no sadness just a great feeling of contempt. I faced my fears in its truest form and smiled.

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