Officially we are now under 7 weeks until the fight, the 30th of May, everything is confirmed, tickets are selling and I am taking regular punches to the face in “sparring” sessions that feel a lot more like being in a real fight than a practice session. It feels a lot more real than in my first, rather jokey, post a couple of months ago. Things are getting serious!
There is a lot to catch up on. I have changed trainers and have discovered that head sparring has demonstrated how brittle my face is! My nose disposes claret at the touch of a glove and the gym, housed in the basement of a London office block, is a sweaty affair but there is a real intensity amongst everyone in there. It is a constant learning process and it has become a very important part of my weekly routine to train and better myself, so that I can be as good as I can be when it comes to the fight.
As the weeks close in on the big event, it’s becoming a lot more nerve wracking yet exciting in equal measure. I suppose that a lot of it is how you attribute the feelings you encounter – whether you see it as fear or excitement (not to say these feelings don’t change on a daily, or even hourly, basis!) It is actually quite useful to be scared at times, because it helps you realise where you need to improve and what you are going to come up against, just as useful as it is to make mistakes whilst sparring… better to do it now than in 7 weeks time!
It has helped me to put some things into perspective as well. To get your head down and work hard and see the improvements so quickly is a very fulfilling thing, but also to do something that, at times, is so obviously unnatural and takes you out of your comfort zone. It is all well and good being told to face your fears head on, or take on challenges, but boxing is the most apparent example that I could muster. Plus the skills you learn are transferrable, not only to day to day life, but also to how you approach every challenge in front of you. Welcome it, accept all the ups and downs, and then put your head down and focus your energy on working hard at it.
Boxing teaches you a lot about self-discipline and responsibility for your personal outcomes. There’s no hiding and you are the only one that is accountable for how you perform when you step into that ring. Ultimately, it is an empowering experience. Yes, there are the nerves that go with it to but you are in control and you totally in control. It’s a good feeling – unlike a sharp jab to the nose, however!!
See you ringside…