Sunday, May 9, 2010

Don't Call it a Comeback

The wait is over. And while saying "the comeback's officially on" might seem tired and obvious, on the same note, simply calling it a "relief" or "good to be back" wouldn't do it justice.

This isn't just me resuming training and stepping back into the ring again. This is re-plugging and re-booting a missing aspect of my life. I've missed boxing. Mourned it during the grind the past few months. And while I'm loving my new job (of which the start date coincided with my surgery & start to the boxing hiatus) there still has been something missing from my day-to-day stride. Yes, I'm happy and pain-free and can breathe again. Hell, I can smell again - it's been nothing short of eye-opening realizing how bashed up my face was before they cleaned it out. All has been well...but it hasn't been right.

An X factor has been missing. A call hasn't been answered. My drive feels like it's been wandering and wasted. That certain urgency and "purpose" just hasn't been there.

But for more than a week now, I've dipped my toe back into the water and am ready to go barreling feet-first back into the ring. Note: feet-first, not face-first. That's what landed me under the knife and looking like this:

Yeesh, look at that swollen clown nose. But to think just how poorly I was breathing before (and prone to infections and bleeding and all-around nastiness) my surgery, let alone overcoming it in the ring with an angry opponent and suffocating mouthpiece.

But alas, I'm mo' better; I'm 100% and hungry. But while I've stayed in more than great shape (as always) I've got a long way to go before I'll be ready to compete at a high level. We all know that a boxer can't be judged by his body type or appearance, and that there's no amount of weights, road work and cross-training that can replace "peak boxing shape." You need speed, stamina, timing, that feel and comfort. (For me, that swagger.) I've had layoffs from the sport before, but never one where I need to so completely rebuild myself to get back to the same level. (Lest we forget that I had my surgery just days after a televised bout, a fight for a championship belt and a thrashing of the regional Golden Gloves finalist.) This will not only be a challenge, but an opportunity. And it'll be fun.

I can't wait to get this motor humming again.

So buckle up, folks.