We find out our matches Monday night.
I hate this part of the process – the build up. It’s one thing to spar with people in your group, but as soon as the word ‘matching’ gets mentioned it all gets a bit tense. Everyone starts sizing each other up.
It’s been doing my head in all week but the wait will be over tomorrow so I’m gonna quit worrying and do my best, whoever they put in front of me.
White Collar Boxing is such an immersive experience.
You can’t flirt with it – you have to get right into bed with it.
For eight whole weeks it’ll consume your every waking thought.
You train alongside strangers who quickly become good friends. You sweat with them, cry with them, and laugh with them. Then you punch those friends, and get punched back; and you’re scared of some of those friends, and what they’re capable of, how good they’ve got, and how shit you think you are in comparison.
Sometimes you’ll have an ace session, feeling strong, focused and switched on. Others, you’ll get battered; your head will throb, your eyes will run, and confidence wilt to nothing. You’ll question why you’re doing it, fantasise about getting injured so you can pull out (true story), wonder what it’ll feel like to actually throw the towel in on the night if you can’t hack it.
But deep down, you know you’ll see it through.
Time to believe
The thing with boxing, is there’s so much to remember. You have to be switched on 100% of the time – take your eye off the ball, and that eye may turn black. You have to be quick; and precise, and powerful. But also slow, relaxed and responsive. You need to read your opponent and anticipate what’s coming, then counter. Get it right and it can be so beautiful – get it wrong and it hurts your soul.
Once you have a confidence knock it’s hard to recover. The mental strength required to keep coming back when you try to hide your tears with sweat gets more intense as fight night approaches.
It’s not like any other challenge I’ve ever done before. I’m as scared now as I was the first time round. Only this time, I’m fitter, stronger, and have a bit more experience. I’m no Mike Tyson, but I (sometimes) move my head and (occasionally) take a moment before windmilling in to take a look at the situation, see what’s coming, and use a little of what I’ve been taught.
A photo posted by Edd Lawrence Fitedd Fitness (@fiteddfitness) on
All the way through this process our amazing coaches have kept saying that we’re doing brilliantly, that eight weeks is literally nothing in terms of ‘normal’ boxing training. We have to remember that whatever happens, we’re doing this for fun, for charity, and for ourselves.
We have to believe we can do it.
I went into my first fight without a real gameplan. I didn’t know what to expect on the night and I didn’t know how to prepare to fight. I didn’t believe I could win, either.
But this time I do. I could win. I’m capable of winning.
Whether I do or not will be down to how I react on the night, and nothing else. It’s exactly the same for everyone else. We are all capable of winning.
We just have to believe we can.
Do you find it hard to believe in yourself?