I always hated boxing. How could someone enjoy the violent, mutual mutilation of two unique individuals? The drench of sweat, the clenching of fists, the iron smell of blood… I much preferred tennis, where the players remain a good distance from each other, holding rackets for a last defense.
I never liked boxing; I never understood it.
In many ways I’m always the careful one, the wary one, the conscious one… I’m aware of the frailness of our human bodies… minds… souls… how just one tap in the right place can send someone reeling, falling, lost…
Sometimes the stakes are raised, sometimes winning that fight becomes just too important to ignore.
Maybe a friend is in danger… or an opportunity comes just within reach… or that challenge just needs to be taken down.
My jaw sets, and the screaming warnings of risk and danger fade out of consciousness. They become merely that indistinct rumbling in the background.
My breathing steadies, my body tenses, and my eyes focus on the opponent. My fists clench.
With the single-mindedness of a hawk diving in pursuit of its prey I attack.
I fight, and I fight, ignoring the sweat on my back, the pain in my muscles…
Victory is necessary; surrender is inconceivable.
I will never give up until that friend is safe, or that opportunity harnessed, or that challenge annihilated.
It is not until I finish that I check my body for injuries… my heart for holes…
But hopefully, if I have chosen my fight well, the hurt will not be able to outshine the joy in my smile.
The sweetness of my triumph was well worth it.
What’s that? Me? A boxer at heart? Ridiculous!
Okay… I’ll concede that one.