This past Thursday, after nearly a year away, I found myself back in the boxing ring sparring with another fighter. The kid I was working with was very inexperienced. As a matter of fact it was only the 2nd time he had sparred in his life. I took it easy on him but at the same time I didn’t patronize him. I landed a few good shots just to let him know that we weren’t having a tea party.
I was very sloppy. My timing was off and my distance was atrocious but it felt good to be back on the main stage. You can only hit the heavy bag for so long until it becomes extremely boring. You can only hit the mitts for so many rounds until it becomes a farce of what an actual fight is like. When it comes to training for a boxer nothing is more important than sparring and there is no greater adrenaline rush. I can remember the very first time I sparred I was dead tired after two rounds but I was high for about a week. Now two years and four amateur bouts later I suppose I’m still trying to chase that first high.
I’ve become a fight junky; a functional boxaholic. I guess we all have our things. I don’t smoke, rarely drink alcohol, I don’t drink coffee at all, and I refuse to take aspirin unless I feel like I’m about to die, but there is something about the boxing gym that I can’t stay away from. I feel like the gym is the realist place on Earth where people don’t engage in passive aggressive behavior, and everyone says what they mean, and if you got a problem with it then there is always the ring. If you think your bad you had better be able to prove it and if you say you can fight then you had better really know how because you will definitely get knocked out.
What I hate about adult life is you spend half of the time restraining yourself so that don’t wind up in prison for beating the hell out of your boss, significant other, coworker, annoying person on the train, etc. At the gym, on the other hand, you can try to smash a man’s nose into his brain and when the round ends he’ll have no hard feelings because he was trying to do the same thing to you. Ahhh, if only life could always be so pure.
I love the craft of boxing. I love the smell of sweat and pine-solve that permeate the air (depending on what time it is) at my gym. I love having the ability to make a another trained fighter bleed, I love the pain in my neck after I’ve been caught with a clean shot, I love my “fight family” at the gym, and I love the way my hands look in my wraps as I shadowbox to the music being provided by KBLX. Boxing is my vice, boxing is my passion, and boxing is my love.