“Jesus Dan, you are a mess. Welcome to being an athlete.”
That’s what my boxing coach, Molly McConnell said when I told her I had come back from seeing the doctor for several bruised ribs. I didn’t protect my side during a recent sparing match, and the guy got in a couple of good hooks. I don’t blame him, I blame myself. I should have been faster.
McConnell, who is a two time world boxing champ told me she’s not sure why anyone boxes because “You end up injured all the time.” My side is taped up, and the doctor told me not to train this week if I still want to make my March 29th fight.
I don’t mind the pain, because I know I need to get used to it. But it does hurt, and breathing, sneezing and sleeping isn’t much fun these days. On average it takes three to four weeks for bruised ribs to heal. I have eight days left before my match.
What I’m finding out as I go through this process is it’s not the big things that set you back, but the little things. So far I’ve had a sprained nose (don’t even ask, it’s embarrassing just to think about how it happened), a jammed thumb, a muscle tear, and now this. I guess it comes with the territory.
So why am I smiling as I sit here and write this blog? Because for the first time in my life, someone called me an ‘athlete.’ Considering I was the kid who was always picked last to be on the team in baseball and soccer, that’s making me feel pretty darn good today.