Looking for the fighter in you?
by Neil Perkins
Boxing has taught me many things, for surviving Corona (hopefully) I owe it the biggest thanks yet. We hear rumours of the opponent coming, some say it will wipe everyone out, others say it’s just hype? Because everyone is talking about it, we are naturally cautious.
This may not be the only opponent and the aftermath and following opponents could be just as damming. A world recession not seen since 1929, social unrest, house prices plummeting and mass unemployment. When faced with the task of facing theses opponents yet to be seen with our own eyes, do we relax at home eating ice cream, sleeping in, forming negative habits and hope that it won’t be that bad?
Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Shannon Briggs are all citing they’re fitter than ever before, lockdown has become their fight camp. As fighters, we’re wired a little differently. It’s like the scene from Rocky, we return to our rituals. The alarm goes off before the sun rises and we trudge downstairs and reach for our raw eggs to eat (no we don’t eat that anymore) and begin the day preparing for the fight whilst others sleep. We’re aware that every session ticked off to the point of vomiting prepares us physically and most importantly mentally for how bad this battle might be. We think about how we’ll negotiate everything that might be thrown at us, we prepare ourselves for how much it might hurt – conditioning our mind to face the fear. We know that overspending behind close doors pays dividends, you have to learn to make your mind and your body become comfortable about doing what is uncomfortable. We know that we must prepare our body and fuel it for a battle, longevity and for a hard fight.
We learn to enjoy the experience of preparing, we make sure we smile every day because one day we might not be able to fight anymore. We’ve learned from past experience ‘in the trenches’ the cost of not preparing. In the final hours before the battle, backstage we won’t be panicked, our work is done and we’ll be ice cool for whatever is thrown at us. Is it a coincidence that when the hype of the baldest thing on the plant is coming, fighters the world over have started preparing their body and mind for what might come? Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Enzo Macranelli are just a few. We’ve prepared ourselves physically and mentally for the worst, we’d be disappointed now if we blew it out inside a round – we at least need to get a sweat on.
Tough times don’t last, tough people do. Time to look for the fighter in you, just in case it gets that bad.