Monday, November 11, 2013

There was NOT supposed to be a round three....

It was supposed to be a first round knockout.

But you missed a punch somewhere, and the bell rang and they were still standing. You knew when it
happened, you could feel it, the absence of pressure in your arm from failing to connect, the glove connection missing, but you'd pressed on because this is what you'd trained for. You were supposed to get that little sensation again and again, over and over to let you know you were on the right track. But you knew you'd missed and hoped for the best, pressed on because one punch isn't supposed to count. But sometimes it does. So you put that behind you, and started the again.

The bell ending the second round caught you by surprise.

That round you'd felt more confident, the punches flowing from your arm as natural as breathing, the  power of muscles crackling along your sinews. It was supposed to be over now. You knew this stuff or at least thought you did. The punches had landed you were certain. You whole body tensed as you let each one go, uncoiling with power and follow through. Brain cells fired, muscle, motion, speed, contact. You could sense the idea of victory with each passing second.

Now, suddenly,  you can taste blood in your mouth that you hadn't before. You realize the punches you thought you had ducked must have landed, caught the corner, nicked you, stunned you. And maybe you didn't even realize it. Maybe you'd gone down and hadn't felt it. Why hadn't the jabs worked? The left and the right must have been too slow. You take a second to run your tongue along your teeth and confirm that they're all still there and not loose. The buzz in your ear, the crowd, sounds different, as if they've lost faith in one they once imagined could be a contender. There is a sudden stabbing pain in your ribs as the adrenaline you've been living off fades into nothing, and all you've got left is the burning need of your success and the fortitude to keep going. 

This round wasn't supposed to be here.

No matter.

You keep punching. You will win. 

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