Sunday, July 6, 2014

Retired from the Ring

Dearest Readers of this tiny outpost of the universe,

I suppose that shame should fill me for being a bystander in my own life lately, but in all honesty, I do not. However, a few weeks ago I did something that I probably shouldn't have but did so anyway.  I got back in the ring.

When I was growing up, there is nothing I wanted to do more than be an Olympic boxer. I didn't have any care to be a pro. I had no aspirations to make millions only to later to be shaky and brain dead. I wanted to fight and  win gold at the Olympics.

This all started in 76 when Sugar Ray Leonard was a kid and had a picture of his baby mama taped to his sock.  As a 5-year-old, that carries a lot of weight, even if you don't understand the significance at the time.  Only as I get older to I realize the heightened emotions for him at that moment.

Then there was Rocky.  Saw it 7 times at the theater.  Knowing full well that he would never win, I kept going back.  To me, there was always hope. That's what being in the ring to me means.  Hope. No matter how much someone outweighs you, has a longer reach, hits harder, you have hope that with one well-placed, tactical hit, you can win.

So that brings me to a few weeks ago.  I am in reasonably good shape for a man who is probably past middle aged.  (by years).  I found a charity fight night at a local establishment and entered.  Pitted against a guy 15 years my junior, I became hesitant.  Then I told myself, "What's the worst that could happen? I die? Doubtful."

This was the nastiest place ever, and I've been in some really bad places. See previous posts.  We were given "corner men" whom I am pretty sure only got the title because they were wearing a tee shirt that said so.  The crowd was drunken and raucous and in short, I was afraid.

When the bell rung for the opening round, my "manager" whom I had only met 5 minutes earlier told me to "knock his dick in the dirt".  Thanks, coach.  I'll forego the blow by blow of round one, but he decidedly beat me like a drum. The only problem is, he was a knockout puncher.  He was looking to showboat by landing a big finisher.  He wanted to YouTube me.

After water and a minute rest, I came to a realization.  I don't like most people, and those I don't like should be beaten like cattle in 300 BC.  Fuck this guy.  He didn't help his situation by dancing around between rounds and peacocking for the nasty people in this nasty bar, but winners got a free tab for the night, so light this fucker up,right?

When the bell rang he said, "It's over, dude".  My thought was "Yes it prick". He danced around, showboating mostly.  He occasionally jabbed me and it hurt.  God did it hurt dearest reader.  And then I saw the opening in his armor.  When he jabbed with his left, he slightly dropped his right.

When I was a kid, I almost lost my left arm due to a severe break.  I am extremely right-hand dominant.  My left arm is half the size of my right.  So he jabbed me in the forehead with his left, I feigned a right, jabbed the opening with my very weak left, but it was enough to back him off and then it was church.  I beat the shit out of that kid from then on.  Suffice to say, I did not pay a bar tab that night.

I'll never step into the ring again.  Just wanted to know that I could still do it.  I did.

Be safe, sleep well, be good to each other, and let's be safe out there.

As always,

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