You can’t always walk away from trying something new, and feel happy about it.
That’s how I felt today in the boxing ring. I went in with a positive attitude, looking forward to trying some new moves I learned earlier in the week. But when the sparing started, I was a complete mess. My brain knew what it wanted to do, but for some reason I couldn’t connect the dots. Theory and execution are two very different things. None of the moves I practiced on my own, or with my coach, came together when I had punches and hooks being thrown at me.
My jabs were too slow, my foot work was tangled, and the longer the rounds went, the more frustrated I became. Then I started to over think what I was doing (or not doing), and that only made things worse. By the end of the hour, I was out of breath, angry at myself, and had a sore jaw where my opponent was able to get in two very good hooks and an uppercut. I wasn’t angry at him, but at myself for not keeping my hands up and for feeling like I had taken a giant step backwards in my training.
So I got out of the ring, threw my gloves in the corner, walked out the door to cool down for a few minutes. When I don’t feel like I’m giving my best, I get very emotional, so it can sometimes be hard for me to think clearly. I’ve been told I expect too much from myself. And that’s probably true. Sometimes, I need to accept that just showing up for practice and getting in the ring is a small victory.
So, as I try to find something positive to come out of today’s training, maybe it’s knowing that I took a few blows, didn’t give up, and will be back to do it all over again next week. Maybe that’s the small victory we all need to remind ourselves of when things don’t go our way. We’re willing to pick up the pieces, learn from our mistakes, know we’ll probably make them again, but hopefully not as often.
Now, I’ve got to go find some more Advil for my jaw.
Connect with Dan on twitter @dmitchinson or at Dan.Mitchinson@kxl.com