Winter Fight Camp- COMPLETE.
From the very first day I committed myself to Fight to End Cancer (FTEC), I knew that on January 17th, it was mandatory that I take part in a full day fight camp dedicated to teaching the rookies (and refreshing the veterans) on every technique/rule needed to box and compete. I arrived early Saturday morning at the gym ready for a FULL day of boxing. We were taken through many drills to teach us the basics and foundation of this sport and once we had all those down, we got into the ring for some sparring (nothing too intense) to put to use what we had just learned. I was partnered with Kate (a former FTEC fighter) and she was an amazing teacher to me. If you know me at all, you know that I NEED some kind of positive reinforcement so I know what I'm doing is correct and to give me that little added confidence boost. Kate was the perfect partner for this! When I would counter and defend her punches, the slightest nod of encouragement was all that I needed. Thanks Kate :)
I felt really good about everything we learned and even though there was SO much information to take in, I think (and hope) that I absorbed it all, or most of it!
I was exhausted leaving the gym at 5PM after 6.5 hours of training but it was the best I've felt to date pulling out of the Kingsway Boxing Club parking lot.
This was a much different feeling than I had leaving the gym on Thursday night this week. It's so interesting and crazy to me that I am doing what I am doing. I have never boxed before, I am doing strenuous training to get myself into shape over the course of 7+ months and I am actually going to fight against someone in a ring, in front of hundreds of people. WHAT?!
Most days when leaving the gym, I am feeling so motivated and amazing after such a good workout and I feel so high on life, but occasionally I leave the gym with thoughts like "why am I doing this?", "I'm never going to break that bad habit", "I suck", "what if I lose my fight?" and other thoughts that are SO negative and very unlike me. These lead to thoughts of, "why am I doing something that is making me feel so down about myself?" and it's a whole vicious cycle. For the most part, I keep these thoughts to myself because I don't want to admit that I feel this way as that might be seen as a weakness, but I can't hide it anymore! I know that anyone who has ever challenged themselves and put themselves in a situation that is so foreign and uncomfortable has had or will have these thoughts and, well, I'm human.
It's insane how a new sport or task that is placed in front of you can evoke SO many different feelings and emotions. On Thursday night after a full class with Virgil doing one defending drill the entire time, I took off my gloves and packed up my bag to leave and expressed to Virgil (with excitement) that that was a great class and I felt so comfortable and I finally think I'm getting it! His response, with no words and a simple 'look' made my mood change in a split second. He told me my movements were very mechanical and predictable......PARDON?! I know he had the best intentions by telling me this as he is my coach and needs to be honest but I was so sad, upset and confused. I wanted to stay and chat about this but had to run out as I was late for my soccer game.
I got to soccer and ran right onto the field and instantly felt at peace. Soccer has been a sport that I picked up so naturally as a little girl. I've been playing for almost 20 years and when I play, I feel like I am floating on a cloud. Your whole world and every thought is about the game and what you need to do and there isn't time to think about anything else. It's heavenly. There are different techniques and runs that we are taught, but after all these years playing, I don't have to think about any of these 'rules' and it's the most natural feeling.
As I left soccer that night and drove back from Burlington to Toronto- I had time to think. I realized that no one is going to start something new and be perfect at it right away and it's going to take time. I understand and am aware that I am a perfectionist and only want to be the best at everything I do. I understand that I am NOT going to be the best boxer in the world. I understand that it's natural to have negative feelings about how you're progressing and feeling upset about certain things when they don't come as easily to you. I know that I can't suppress these negative thoughts and feelings and need to be vocal about them to my coaches and anyone that will listen because it's not good to keep those kinds of thoughts to yourself. I also see now how mental the sport of boxing is. I realize that there is so much that I don't know and so much that I have to learn and just because something doesn't 'click' right away, I will get there.
So, why am I doing what I'm doing? I am fighting for everyone and anyone that has or will be diagnosed with cancer. I am fighting for people who would give anything to be ABLE to train and be part of a boxing match. I am doing this to challenge myself and I am doing this because I know that I can.
Win or lose? I believe that I have already won.