two: far afield

The bottom dropped out in December.

In January, I decided that I had to go further. I paid $500 to (try to) learn how for four months.

No matter what anyone says, everyone likes to think he or she can fight. To be tough. To endure. Maybe that’s so. Maybe not. It doesn’t really matter. The reasons don’t matter. The necessity is what matters. The drive.

The first day, in five minutes, I learned my cardio was garbage. Ten minutes in, I felt how ineffective was my punch. My stance was sloppy. There was more that was…less.

It was funny, almost–how in a fraction of an hour you can grasp your limitations.    

If only we could be conscious of that while at the same time understanding to what we may strive.

Routine is important. On command, I jumped rope for three minutes, concentrating intensely on the (casual) timing of my jumps such that the weighted rope might pass easily under my soles and loop up toward the back of my head before I had to (gently) lurch upward again, while making all of it smooth. And monitor my breathing. And keep my head clear. Sure.

It’s a hell of a thing when you admit to yourself when you maybe have overshot your aim. 

It’s even better when you know you have done exactly that, but you keep going anyway. 

My stance was sloppy, my footwork was garbage, my cardio was pathetic, and my mind was unfocused. I kept going.

A local pro with neck tattoos and a long, lean, ridiculously powerful build had a zen-like calm as he corrected our physical mistakes. He counted briskly and quick-slapped our shoulders and elbows as we wove through the Maze. I watched his serpentine head/shoulders/torso shift from his hips with my peripheral vision as he stood on the edge of the mats, modeling ideal movement. 

Heavy bags swung in ouroboric arcs as sweat poured down our brows. Our muscles burned as we twisted our hips and breathed arrhythmically, attempting to right the ship and exhale effectively while extending at our elbows with a snap. I continuously pressed forward from my rear heel with a final twist of my wrist for each impact, momentarily pleased with a slight packing sound, but not happy enough with the sound to gloat. More. Always more.

A quick inhale through both nostrils (ignoring the growing glow of pain within), a seemingly unnatural continuous sway, and four more contacts with the bag in quick succession. 

There is much to learn from realizing how much we have yet to learn.

The weeks passed quickly. There were two of me. I did not find a balance, but I saw the scale. I measured its reach, felt its pull.

I know where to find it. I’ll see it again. Soon.

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