Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wandering Aimlessly Down the Comeback Trail

The past few weeks have been an aimless, meandering journey that may or may not be getting me where I need to be. I’m definitely cranking up the intensity and regularity of workouts (especially "doubling up" with an a.m. run plus a p.m. gym workout) but feel like something’s missing. This “something” is probably just momentum. I can't help but feel like I'm laboring through workouts a little more than when I was peaked right before I had my surgery. Maybe it's just needing to build confidence? Regain some in-ring comfort? Or, maybe I just need to whip up a larger batch of my special sauce: swagger.

I definitely could use a touch more of all these. But regardless of what "it" actually is, hopefully I’m not going to be stuck spinning tires until this X factor changes - because when it does, I’m ready to get some traction and peel out in a dust cloud of kick-ass.

My biggest problem being patient with this “work hard and it will click” approach is that it requires a bit of faith that “the process” is working. I have no problem trucking along, but it’s unsettling to go through the motions, make progress in baby steps, and just continue assuming that one morning I’ll glove up and things will be the way they were pre-op - with my feet having that rhythmic bounce, my jab that stinging crispness, that right landing with that clobbering thump that made eyes spin.

But alas, onwards I trudge, trusting that persistence (and about 100 rounds of sparring) will be the glue that makes my body, mind and routine harmoniously “click.”

As I continue to try to hit my proverbial groove, it’s becoming clear that I’m going to have a pretty tangible, conventional set of challenges to overcome. And, because I’m self-conscious about my tone on here, I want to clarify that these are challenges, not complaints. Challenges are encountered but ultimately overcome…but they’re hindrances nonetheless, and until they’re addressed, patience is tried and progress can’t be made.
  • Logistics - My old office was a 10-minute walk from my boxing gym, but now my work-to-gym commute is about 45 minutes. This adds strain schlepping my gear around in crappy weather, makes it more likely I'll just go home first and then run/lift/crosstrain rather than embark on another round-trip commute, and even sometimes interferes with my sleep cycle due to bumping my whole night back an hour or two from running around the greater Boston area. Hey, lost time adds up over the months...
  • Summer - Summer is my busy season. From a baseball league I play in once/week to traveling to remembering the "play" aspect of a work/train/play balance, there seems to always be a scheduling conflict (or a vice) altering plans.
  • Tearing up my face again - I snickered typing this, but hey, I'm a banger. I outwork, outhustle and outgun my opponents. Having a mental block take me out of my element - intentional or not - would be as devastating to my end-result as not being 100% in-shape.
  • Weight - Having fought at 140, I never had problems making 152 for a fight last year, which is where I had my long streak of success. In fact, I'd say the added strength and comfort with my weight was a huge reason for my success. But now? Well if I had a functioning scale that didn't seem to be stuck on 165, I'd actually know how much I weigh... but I'd still probably have anxiety that I'll have a lot of weight to cut in the sauna the week of my next bout - especially since a lot of this new mass is due to me bulking up while I wasn't boxing, rather than just letting myself go. Some definite changes to my weightlifting routines (and maybe, just maybe, my drinking habits) are in order...
And right there, maybe I got to the root of it – whether it’s a lack of urgency or just a consistent flow in my week-to-week training, I seem to be spiraling in a "trap of the week" cycle and am improvising a comeback rather than just executing.

In the end, that will be the difference between success or falling short when the boxing “busy season” starts in September – whether I plow through these challenges and train in a crisp, straight line to the top, or meander through this briar patch of obstacles and let them slow me down.

At the end of the day though, my feet are moving and slowly but surely I'm progressing forward. It’s going to take a lot more than this to keep me from my titles.


Jess said...

I feel you on that long commute. Up until this weekend, work-to-gym and work-to-home were 45 minutes each for me, and with 20 pounds of gear on your back it's not fun.

Welcome back to training, though - I've been following your blog for awhile and am looking forward to new updates. My first amateur fight is this fall and it's been really helpful to find others who blog about their training.

Jonathan Moreland said...

Hey Jess,

Thanks so much for stopping by! Best of luck ramping up for your fight in the fall - hopefully you find some resources here that might come in handy, if nothing other than the knowledge that I'm suffering along with you ;)

And yeah, long commutes can be rough. It's funny that my work/home commute is far easier than work/gym - it makes that first step out the door that much more difficult, especially with my gear in tow. But hey, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it...