Sunday, 22 February 2015

"Maybe she has been by my side this entire time"- Week 14

On Friday morning, I attended a funeral for my old soccer coach, Monique. Monique was 49 years old and died of cancer. She was a beautiful woman, both inside and out and had a contagious personality. She was someone that you always wanted to be around. As a young soccer star, running and endurance was not my forte. I could never get my conditioning up to par with the rest of the team and I worked extremely hard on it. I would dread the thought of going on team runs as I knew this meant I would be trailing behind and holding back anyone that stayed with me. On a particular run, leaving Shell Park in Oakville and running along Lakeshore, Monique fell back to run with me and stuck by my side the entire time. It felt like we were on a run by ourselves as the rest of the team had taken off. Monique spoke to me the entire run with words of encouragement and I remember thinking that it was crazy that she was able to even speak while running- she must be in amazing shape! We spoke about a lot of different things, Monique mostly spoke and I listened, blurting out a few words through deep breaths and my pace gradually got quicker. We did our loop, never stopped to walk and completed the run, not too long after the rest of the team had finished. I felt proud and grateful. I was proud of myself for accomplishing something that I never thought I could and I was grateful to have Monique by my side both literally and figuratively. I wanted to struggle through this run to prove to myself that I could, and I wanted to do it for Monique. I'll never forget that moment.

This week, and until May 30th, I will be doing something else for Monique. I will be fighting for her. Monique helped me achieve something that I never thought possible so many years ago. When I started boxing in November, it felt a little bit like those team runs- impossible. But since then, working with countless individuals at the gym, giving me so many words of encouragement and being by my side, I have already accomplished SO much more than I could have ever imagined. I officially feel like a boxer. Correction, I am a boxer.

Training this week has been one of my best weeks yet. I honestly felt something change inside me, like a light bulb turned on unexpectedly and my focus is on point. It's at the gym and no where else. Even when I'm not at the gym, my focus is still there. I wish I could pinpoint exactly what changed, but I'm just going to go with it.
I got punched too many times in the face this week BUT I also defended many more punches than I usually do. I didn't feel like I was going to cry or like I was wanting to kill anyone that I was fighting against and I stepped out of the ring with my head held high.

My confidence (for right now) is high (I guess this is one of my "high" weeks) and I feel the way I did when I returned back from that run about 15 years ago with Monique by my side...
Come to think of it, maybe she has been by my side this entire time.

Rest in peace, Monique.

Oakville Sting in Italy- Monique is fourth from the left, back row.

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