boxing footwork dance

A Boxing Footwork Epiphany

You know how sometimes — just once in a great while — everything you’ve worked so hard for suddenly comes together in a beautiful, quiet epiphany?

I had one of the best boxing nights ever last night.

The boxing team had finished warm-ups and we were slugging our way through six rounds of independent shadowboxing. Round after round of shadowboxing is kind of like practicing scales on the piano for an hour; there are times when you (and everyone who has to listen to you) think it will never, never, never end. The sameness becomes oppressive and you feel like you aren’t learning anything, only going through the motions of the old stuff until you’re half batty.

But it pays off, all that practice.

Last night I was in round four, or five, or seventy million of shadowboxing when I suddenly realized that I was dancing.

I know, weird.

But I promise you, I don’t have a graceful bone in my body. I have trouble not snickering when my coach tells me (with a patient sigh) to be “light on my feet,” balanced; perfectly poised between my lead and back foot, able to slip easily in any direction in that peculiar fashion native to the ring and essential to boxing.

I lurch. I stumble, trudge, and and haul my body through space in the most ungainly fashion.

But I didn’t last night. My brain was far, far away when suddenly the Ghost of Fabulousness whispered in my ear. Lightly, so as not to scare the shit out of me. You’re dancing.

I considered this. There I was, balanced lightly between my lead and rear foot. On my toes. Sliding effortlessly, never overbalanced. That easy bobbing, swaying, dip and weave unfolding gracefully in every direction.

For the first time in memory, I loathed the bell that would end it.

It wasn’t a sparring night, so I didn’t get to test my work in the real boxing arena. But when the trainer put us on the heavy bags I was filled with power. I punched through. I moved with grace. I was unstoppable.

Unstoppable.

Thank God for these moments. They are the stuff of hope.

Image by zarajay

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2 Responses to A Boxing Footwork Epiphany

  1. Sine Botchen March 20, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    I’ve noticed the same thing with cycling.. I can spot an experienced rider a mile away, even if he/she is on a dime store Huffy bike wearing street clothes, the rider’s body language will give him away. A lot of new cyclists show up on $3000 bikes, all decked out in the latest team “kits” and accessories, but are immediately betrayed by some of the simplest of details. Only years of experience and constant repetition will bring that ease and familiarity where certain movements have become completely ingrained on a subconscious level.

    Keep at it!

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe March 24, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

      It’s damned compelling to want to purchase your way toward success. I know I’ve tried it before and failed every time. I think, “If I just had the right gear…” and our culture LOVES for us to think that. Of course, it’s bullshit, that message. You can’t purchase what years of practice and experience gives. Sure, you can afford the best trainers, the nicest arenas, blah blah blah. But you can’t fake experience.

      Doesn’t stop me wishing I could sometimes!

      Lol. “an experienced rider on a Dime store Huffy.” That’s a great image. And a completely true thing. You know the Real Deal when you see it, don’t you? Especially when you have put in so many miles on that same road.

      I raise my martini to you, and am proud to call you friend.
      .-= Lisa Creech Bledsoe´s last blog ..A Boxing Footwork Epiphany =-.

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