I didn’t have a good day at the gym today.
Like anything that’s new, you start at the very beginning, and go from there. ABC, 123.
But boxing requires you to mix it up. It’s not a ‘by the numbers sport.’ Which means I need to know how to do BCA, 321 or 1BC 23A. Because once you get into the ring, your opponent isn’t going to go ‘by the numbers.’ They’re going to have a dozen different combinations they can throw at you. And your job…my job… is to know how to block those combinations, while throwing my own.
The problem is, in my minds eye, I know what I should be doing. I can visualize the punches I should be throwing, and how my footwork should look. But after watching video that was taken of me sparing today, I see the mistakes. A lot of them. Some I should know better than to make at this point. Others can be forgiven, because I’m still so new at this sport.
I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I am not an athlete. I don’t pretend to be one, and I know I’ll never call myself a ‘boxer.’ In time, maybe I can say ‘Yeah, I’m a guy who takes boxing classes,’ or ‘I do it to keep fit and active,’ but that’s not the same as a person who does this for a living, or is training for a career in the ring.
I know I can be hard on myself. I’m angry that I’m sitting here tonight writing this blog with a jammed thumb, because of a stupid punch I threw. I’ve been mentally beating myself up because I went into the gym this morning tired, and didn’t have the energy or focus that I should have..or needed to have. And I’ve watched that video taken of me over and over, yelling at the screen on my phone asking ‘Why didn’t you jab there….how come you didn’t duck…that was an awful left hook…’ because I know I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be.
So, I take a deep breath, and look ahead to tomorrow, which is another opportunity. And I try to remind myself of an earlier blog I wrote about taking small steps and enjoying the small successes. Like the coach reminded me, “As long as you come away with improving something, no matter how small it might be, then hopefully I’ve done my job as a coach, and you walk out of her a little bit better (as a boxer).”
Maybe. And maybe the more I practice, the more I’ll believe in myself. That’s 90 percent of the battle once you step into that ring.
Connect with Dan on twitter @dmitchinson or at Dan.Mitchinson@kxl.com