Building a Brawler EP11: What a Ride!
What a ride!
As I write this, it’s 11 days since fight night.
It’s only now sinking in that the journey is over, and ‘normal’ life is beginning to settle in again. I have to be honest, it’s kind of boring. Now that the fear, anxiety, anticipation and excitement have been removed, things seem a little dull. I’m sure this will subside as life fills back up with other priorities and concerns, but the immediate sensation right after everything has concluded is a bit odd.
I talked a lot throughout the training how the focus on preparing for the fight caused a lot of ‘less pressing’ or less important aspects of my life to drop off a bit, which was true, and it was a focus that I really enjoyed. Now that it’s over, I definitely feel like finding another challenge that will have the same effect. I just feel like the benefits of that focus and commitment are too many not to continue to put myself in a scenario that will bring them about.
Of course that all said, I’m not going to worry about it for the time being. I’ll enjoy the Christmas Holidays at home, and re-access early in the new year, to determine what the next challenge will be.
Ok, so to fight night.
We weighed-in the night before at Golden Gloves gym, and met at the venue the following day at noon to do a ‘walk-through’ of the event.
My father had flown in for the event, so after we were done at the venue, we went for a walk in the park and then came back to the dressing room at 5, where we had to stay until our fight started (mine was at about 9:30 I think).
Besides the long time spent waiting, it was fun being in the back room, watching my teammates prepare mentally and physically and for their fights.
We managed to stream the fights on YouKu to someone’s phone, so we were able to watch the fights while we waited, which was fun.
Shortly before my fight, one of our coaches wrapped my hands, and I did some shadowboxing and some pad-work to warm-up.
I was focused on getting a bit of a sweat on and my heart-rate up, but I can’t say there were many nerves, if anything I was calmly just waiting to see ‘what it would be like’ when my music came on and I walked out.
Well, it was awesome. When it was fight time we got walked through the back and behind the curtain where we would walk out. My coaches met me there, and gave me a few final words of support.
My opponent walked out first, and then it was my turn. I still wasn’t really that nervous, and when my music started playing, I walked out, and stopped briefly at the top of the runway. I spread my arms out straight to my sides at shoulder level, and tipped my head back. I did this just to try and absorb the moment, and the energy of it all. It came naturally and felt really good. After that I walked to the ring, shuffled around it a bit, and headed to my corner. It all felt really comfortable, nerves weren’t really a part of it.
The fight started and was over in a flash, way faster than I expected. When it was over, I was quite confident that I had won. I didn’t feel like I got hit much, and never with a hard shot, and I felt I was the busier fighter, pushing the pace and controlling the ring. So when it was announced that my opponent won, I have to admit I was surprised, and of course disappointed.
I think it’s important to look at these things and try to determine causes, which I’ll do a little bit here (and more in the podcast), but of course I don’t want to take anything away from my opponent when doing so. He worked hard, fought hard, and the judges saw it for him, so I don’t want to diminish his efforts when I make an analysis of my own.
Losing is a part of competition, and you just have to accept it, learn what you can, move on, and do better next time.
However the thing that I regretted as soon as the result was read, was that I felt I had not left it all in the ring. In competition, you can’t always control the outcome, but you can always control the effort you give, and I immediately felt that my perception that I was winning had caused me to hold back, especially in the last round. At the end of the fight, I still had energy, and felt I could have done much more to seal it in my favor.
Of course, the obvious lesson is don’t make assumptions and especially don’t ever hold back or give less than your 100%, which can easily be applied with equal legitimacy to sport and life in general. I can live with giving 100% and coming up short, but giving less than 100% and coming up short has an extra sting to it.
(For more analysis of my performance, check out the audio podcast)
Even though I didn’t get the result I wanted, it was hard not to feel happy, excited, relieved etc. A number of close friends had come to watch and support, my father was there, it was a super cool event, and there was a night of partying ahead of me. So I sat at my friends table, had a beer, and watched the last couple fights.
After that, I showered up and headed to the official after-party at Bar Rouge with everyone. Long-story short — we danced, laughed, and drank the night away, til 6am:)
I’m not a big drinker, and hadn’t been out late like that in over 3 years, but I felt like the occasion was worthy of celebration.
In the morning, I woke up with a killer headache, so my father and I went to Al’s dinner for a meal befitting such a hangover, and to satisfy my sweet tooth that I had been holding at bay for the last 2 months. Two Vanilla milkshakes? Yeah…why not?!
And just like that, the journey was over…and I’m left thinking, “I need more, what’s next?!”
I’d also like to take some space here to extend a huge thank you to the sponsors that were such an enormous help during my training. My work schedule during this time was especially busy, even more than normal, with very few days off and lots of travel, and as a result this whole journey would have been much more difficult to manage without their support. I’m consistently impressed by the quality of many of Shanghai’s homegrown brands in the health and wellness industry, and inspired by their willingness to cooperate and support members of the community. I look forward to watching them grow and develop as leading brands in this industry, and wish them every success moving forward.
Huge thank-you again to Saucepan (healthy meal delivery), Farmhouse Juice (cold-pressed juice), gre3n coconut water and coconut oil, Everlast (boxing gear), Guts x Glory (healthy granola), YUMMY Avocados, IENstore.com (nutritional supplements) and Floatasian (floatation therapy center).
再次特别鸣谢 Saucepan（健康餐食）、Farmhouse Juice（冷榨果汁）、gre3n 椰水与椰油、Everlast（拳击装备）、Guts x Glory（健康麦片）、YUMMY 鳄梨、IENstore.com（营养补给品）以及Floatasian（漂浮疗程中心）。