My First Black Eye

The moment:

I’d never been hit so hard. For a second, I thought I was going to fall over--I had to catch myself. Two to the head and I don’t know how many to the body. But it was hard and it was fast.

What 3 hours of training, 2 kicks to the ribs, 1 clean hook to the face, a gallon of sweat and a good ol-fashioned ugly cry looks like. 

What 3 hours of training, 2 kicks to the ribs, 1 clean hook to the face, a gallon of sweat and a good ol-fashioned ugly cry looks like. 

And then, the rage. I felt it burning in my stomach and flying through my arms, taking over my entire body. My vision blurred from the tears, not because of the pain, but because of how pissed I was that I let him hit me. That I wasn’t blocking myself, that I wasn’t as fast or as skilled. And yeah, that he hit me that hard.

Doesn’t he know I’m learning? Is he trying to kill me?! IS THIS HOW IT ENDS?!

He didn’t let up and didn’t slow down, still getting (hard) punches in; meanwhile, I was internally feeling like the Incredible Hulk was about to burst from my chest and kill him.

But he didn’t. And I didn’t. What I did was keep fighting. I was hyperventilating, crying, on the verge of an asthma attack, losing my cool, my arms were too far out, I clearly forgot all the technique I ever learned...but I wasn’t going to stop. I wasn’t going to give up. I wasn’t going to let this be the end.

What happened:

Yesterday, I got my first black eye! A rite of passage has occurred! A “shiner” to induct me into the family of badasses I spend my free time around. Next lesson: how to NOT get a black eye by moving my head out of the way. Oops.

My coach/sparring partner is one of the fastest, most talented boxers I’ve ever met. He challenges me every day to become better; and yesterday, he stepped it up a notch.

What I learned:

  • I am powerful. I am TOUGH. I am...not as effective as I could be. Learning how to focus my anger on my technique and my opponent will be a huge asset as I grow as an athlete. And that it’s natural to have NO idea how to do that at first and mostly just want to turn into the She-Hulk.
  • I am surrounded by people that love, support and believe in me. No one coddled me or saw my tears as a weakness; they’ve been in the same position and know that these are tears of exhaustion, frustration and growth. They talked me through what I was doing wrong (i.e., not moving my head) and told me how to improve (i.e., move your head dummy, it’s getting hit). No judgement, only support.

  • Life hits harder than anyone you fight will. Wear your scars and bruises with pride because they mean you’ve experienced defeat and decided to keep fighting.

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