About 5 weeks ago, on a lovely Saturday morning I was awaken by the sound of Bobby yelling at me from outside my room, telling me to get down to the gym for a circuit.
Groggy and totally not impressed that I was being yelled at first thing in the morning, I managed to get back a response…
Me: Uggggh, I wanted to sleep in! It’s Saturday!
Bobby: Do you wanna sleep in, or do you want to win your fight?
Needless to say, I got up and did the circuit.
Fast forward to today, which is about two weeks remaining until fight night. I wouldn’t be able to sleep in tomorrow morning if I tried. I’m up, ready to train, counting down the days until fight night comes. Motivated. Eager. And also, functioning with a mind that won’t shut off.
One of the “side effects” of preparing for a fight… or at least for me, is that the brain starts going 100mph 24 hours a day.
Doesn’t that sound awesome? It’s naaawt.
Sometimes, I wonder if I look totally distraught or haggered in training… If my racing mind is reflecting its millions thoughts per second, onto my face.
Coach Greg will ask me, “Miss Erin, how are you doing?” I always reply, “I’m good.” Or “I’m fine.” … In which he responds with, “Are you suuuuure?”
Shoot. I don’t know… Am I? Do I not look like I am? Can he, and everyone, read my busy mind like a book on my face? Ugh.
At this point, Greg wants to make sure that I am actually good and fine, and so he pulls me into his office for what I have dubbed to my friends and family at home as the famous office talks.
I LOVE the famous office talks.
On this particular day, Greg kindly reminded me that I am something different and special, that I am not like 90% of the girls my age…
“20,000 people don’t go into stadiums to watch normal people. They go because they are watching extra ordinary people… people they admire. You are not normal. You have a fire, a light. Embrace that you are not normal. And don’t ever lose it.”
Fist pump! The famous office talks are the best. I don’t think Greg really even knows how special they are to me, but I tell him these talks help part the clouds in my head… that when we are finished talking, I feel like it lets a little light in. They leave me feeling happy. Refreshed. Clear. Believed in. He says the clouds will come back, and to hold on to whatever I can from these chats.
Ohhhh, you bet I do.
As soon as I leave his office, I walk right over to my bag, dig out my phone and start inputting any key phrases or powerful things I can regurgitate to myself… wisdom, advice… anything that Greg said… I don’t want to forget any of it. It seems so valuable to me right now as I prep for this fight. It probably always will be.
“The fight is the process of getting there. Be in love with learning. This fight is a lesson or an example… a way of getting to know you. I don’t care if you win or get knocked out in 20 seconds. Make friends with the worst possible thing and then move on. The pressure and the nerves will get worse the bigger the fights get… this isn’t the time for them. This is for fun.”
Dang it. He is right. I need to have fun.
It’s funny, looking back after my first fight, it was then that I finally understood what fighters meant when they said that the fight is the fun part, and the hard part, the real battle is the training camp. I would hear that and think, “Are you frigging crazy? How can the fight be the fun part? That’s when it’s the scariest! That’s when the gloves are the smallest and the hits are the hardest!!”
But after I did my first fight, it clicked. Ahhhh… now I see what they mean. The fight really WAS the fun part. Hell was the training camp. Not the other way around.
I try to bring myself back to remembering and believing this point now, as my camp is winding down. Soon, I get to have FUN I think to myself. Fighting is FUN.
The loud mouth little devil ego in me pipes up and starts yapping, claiming that FUN is sitting in the sunshine near a pool with a strong drink. FUN is going to the movies and actually being able to have some candy. FUN is hanging out and being socal with friends and being IN the moment, and not thinking about a girl you have never even met, who you want to beat up. Fighting, at this point, does NOT seem fun. Drinking, eating and being social… now that seems fun.
I hate it when that bitch pipes up.
So, I shut her up, because I know she is not completely right. I know all the hard work will pay off and the fight will be enjoyable AND worth it. And then I can eat, drink and be merry in the summer sunshine.
Hells to the motha fawking yeah.
Hopefully that moment of FUN for me will happen near a pool… with friends… and some kick ass plans for the night that include food and laughter… and heck, why not even throw in a cute boy rubbing sunscreen on my back. I mean, come on… I don’t want to burn…
Yup, that sounds fun. I can’t wait to get there.
Here’s to fun, whatever your idea of that is…