If you had asked me last Friday “How’s training for your fight going? How are you feeling?” you might have heard me growl and scowl and say I didn’t give a damn anymore. I was wholly, mortally sick. Of. It.
Done. Screw it, I’m outta here.
So I made the reasonable choice and did a flaming, flying swan dive down into the dark, seedy mental nightclubs where I proceeded to party down while throwing the finger to everything boxing related. To mark the special moment, I stopped into Bojangles and devoured a 2-piece fat-enhanced meal with a side of dirty (that was especially satisfying) fries AND a motherfucking biscuit. With butter.
I thought about driving up to the Krispy Kreme, but I was feeling so warm and sated after the Bo-party all I wanted to do was head home and sleep it off. I decided I could finish out with a hefty double shot of 12 year old Macallan’s Highland single malt scotch, but by the time I got home I was too wasted on fried chicken and biscuits to find the liquor cabinet.
I slept like a sabertooth tiger with a belly full of giant sloth.
And I proceeded to very studiously NOT TRAIN for the next three days.
Which would have been especially sparkling and glittery, except that prior to the flaming flying swan dive, I had trained at my cheapie $10-a-month gym with a guy who put me through an hour-long upper and lower body workout that (I found out later) just happened to hammer the holy living Elvis out of my calves and triceps.
On Saturday I was surprised at the level of pain and misery cramping up my legs and arms, and I knew I was in for a rough Sunday, because I get hit hardest by 2nd day muscle soreness when I screw up like this. And sure enough, rolling out of bed and putting my feet on the floor Sunday morning was the sheerest kind of torture. It took me hours of patient work to get everything stretched out and functional, and Monday was only marginally better.
Still, I was off the training wagon and didn’t care — upcoming fight be damned. If I could have summoned the cosmic unicorn wish fairy and been able to get in the ring and have my match Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday night I would have done it in a skinny minute just to get it off the event horizon of the sucking black hole that was my mental attitude.
I started to repent on Tuesday morning. Which was reasonably smart, considering that the church of boxing was scheduled to hold high holy services just 9 days hence.
I put on my sackcloth and ashes and headed to Second Round for my punishment. As you might guess, I wasn’t all smiles. I pretended I’d never even thought of, never even considered the ring name “Relentless.”
I got in without too many people noticing, and quietly set up the ring with a double slip line. My calves wept silently. I ignored them and thought about fried chicken instead.
And Cinnabon. I thought about Cinnabon a lot.
But not my fight. I resolutely didn’t think about my fight. And I noticed something interesting.
My quads were fairly happily taking me smoothly and easily under that slip rope, back and forth like a well-oiled machine. My heart rate stayed steady and my jabs weren’t catching on the line. Everything was working. For the first three rounds, and the next three, and the next three. By round 10 I was feeling normal again. Boom. I wanted to say, Hey all you doctors out there, quit prescribing Wellbutrin and Elavil and Zoloft! Tell your patients to shadowbox 10 rounds with a slip line! After eating dirty fries and biscuits!
My coach ambled up and I confessed (some of) my sins. He was nonchalant. Rest is good, he said. You got this. Then put me through a solid pad workout for another 6 rounds. I love my coach.
Powah was mine, badasses. I did a few victory dances around the ring while he pretended not to see. He probably didn’t roll his eyes.
So I finished out with speed bag and jump rope rounds, after which I strolled home like a convict whose prison sentence has been unexpectedly commuted. And here I had thought I had flushed all my training down the toilet. I have much to learn, clearly.
Did I mention the fact that I went to the bookstore on Saturday and read the first 5 chapters of Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Body? I have some modifications I’m making to my training, more on that later. (My husband is all like, You’re such a control freak.)
Meanwhile, my lessons learned:
- Ten to twelve weeks is waaaaay too long for a training camp for attention-deficient me. Why did I start that early? Excited, I guess. Seven weeks is probably optimal for most people, assuming one is in reasonably decent shape. Five weeks would be tight but do-able.
- Factor in “screw it” days or weeks, especially if you’re doing a longer training camp.
Sometimes good enough is, amazingly, good enough. All is well in Whoville. “Relentless” rides again. After the fight, meet me at the Cinnabon.