Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pre-fight Shivvers

So it's the night before my first bout in months (far too long) and I can't help but be anxious. I usually don't get uppity the day/night/moment before a bout, but I can't help but feel like this week has seriously hindered my fight prep.

In my last post I mentioned that, since my bout was postponed from its original date, I was going to taper this "extra" week - ease off the gas, rest my body and fine-tune my game to make everything "click" at the right time. What's happened instead is that I've fought the flu and been swamped at work, so instead of tapering and peaking, I've shut boxing off altogether to sniffle my way through a 50-hour work week. Such is life, but, well, let's go back to the start of this "bonus" week...

After some great weekend workouts, I set-up a sparring session for Monday. What was planned as a light "walk-through" of sorts turned into a three-man, alternating battle royale that lasted 12 rounds. While ordinarily this would have been a great workout that got me valuable in-ring experience as well as a top-notch cardio workout, doing it 96 hours before my bout resulted in me getting way too banged up and worn down - especially by "tapering" standards. What's more, I wore my 20 oz. gloves (my lobster claws) so, in addition to punishing my back and shoulders with the added weight, I took a few shots that I ordinarily would parry in 14 or 16 oz. gloves. Immediately after the fact, I figured this "unplanned" strain could be slept off the next few days. Little did I know, the flu was lurking...

I woke up with a cold on Tuesday that I still haven't quite gotten over. Given my physical state and ever-growing to-do list at work, I haven't had the time or energy to work out since Monday - it's been three days of work --> home --> cold medicine --> bed.

I remember my high school track and cross country coaches always emphasizing how the workouts the days immediately before a big race - while light - were critical for your body to continue to build and capitalize on the training up to that point. Here's to hoping that the same rules don't apply for boxing...

I'm not worried about my preparation the past weeks and months. I know I've trained my tail off, pushed myself as hard as I could and improved leaps and bounds physically and technically since opening "camp." My anxiety stems from the other end of the spectrum - that, by squandering (through no fault of my own) the days leading up to my fight, I won't be able to fully cash-in and peak at 101% capacity.

That, and there's a fairly large crew of first-time spectators who have committed to attend and watch me throw down. I know it's an exhibition. I know I fight for me and my love for the sport and nothing else. But at the same time, this is just an exhibition - how can you not consider the impression you'll make on others as you take inventory the night before a fight? I want to be 101% ready and throw 1001 punches in 12 minutes and make an impression on people that I am a boxer and I trained like hell to kick some kid from Brockton's ass.

I've been thrown for a loop, but life never proceeds on a straight path. Nor is it ever easy. Nor particularly kind to me. But while I'm off-kilter now, I know exactly how I'll feel this time tomorrow when the bell rings and I step out of my corner.

I'll feel at home. I'll be ready to box. And I'll know that - regardless of who's in the hundreds watching or what I did the night before or what my work rate or punch count is - that I did everything possible to overcome all obstacles, train hard, and get myself ready to put it all together and make it happen in the ring.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Johnathan: Probably missed spelled name, however...met your mother (my niece) I am your great aunt Helen (your grandmother's sister) Now down to the sport...which I have been an avid fan of since age 8 or before. My brothers would amature box at home in the living room as your gr. grandpa Louie Jerome coached. (Your gr. gr. grandfather Ray Jerome was a champion wrestler and also boxed. I am behind you 101% for the profession. My favorites are Ali "the greatest" Aurtro Cotto from New Jersey and Mikey Ward. Did you see their bout of 2002 on May 17th. A real classic!!!! Keep in touch and inform me of your progress. love of the sport. Helen