Stoked. Psyched. Wired. Talking in single-word declarations. Ok, let’s start over.
Atlanta Corporate Fight Night takes place on October 21, 2010, and I already have my airplane ticket. I heard about this fight event a month or two ago, browsing around the web (Facebook, maybe?). I contacted the promoter, Terri Moss, and last week she had a woman who was unable to make weight for a fight and contacted me back to see if I wanted to step in and take her place.
Astonishing, to have a fight come together after all this time.
Am I changing anything about my training? No. Am I worried about my footwork, or my cardio, or my cranky shoulder? Nope. Am I upset that my trainer can’t go (sister’s wedding) to corner for me? Nah. So what the hell am I?
I lied. There’s one tiny thing: I’ll be boxing in Atlanta in a field of hometown fighters. I’ll be the only one there with no posse. No corner. No we-made-homemade-tee-shirts-for-this cluster of crazy friends. The ring announcer will call my name and the guys in the sound booth will punch up an MP3 for the Proverbial Cricket Chorus.
There’ll be no familiar dive to crowd into afterward to go through each round blow-by-blow and beer-by-beer.
But that ain’t such a big deal.
My second-level trainer, Nas, asked me if I wanted a one-on-one training session before he left for NYC for a couple of his own fights. He gave me a solid hour on the mitts and told me I was as ready as I’ve ever been. And he imparted one small piece of advice.
“Quitting is an option, but winning and losing are just a part of life,” he said, as I ducked the mitt that swung in a quick left hook toward my ear. “You go down there and you box. This is what you trained for, this is what you love. So go do it.” He called another fast combo. I popped through it, then settled into a string of jabs to his ribs. “And put your power into it,” he grunted. “The time for holding back is over.”
That sent a quiet thrill through me, and I allowed myself precisely .07 seconds to fantasize getting a win by TKO.
Meanwhile, nothing changes. I train, I sneak M&M’s, I land uppercuts in my dreams. Right crosses, down the pipeline for contact. I brace myself for the adrenaline surge to wash over me and leave me limp and barely able to suck for air.
It’s only 6 minutes. I can do anything for 6 minutes.