Boxing for Refuge: Week 9, in which the fight feels very close and I feel very unprepared

I have a lot to process today.

We spent most of the session shadow boxing and doing drills to perfect our techniques. I thought I was doing pretty well. Maybe. I’m not sure. There were some that I felt like I was getting the hang of as we wrapped up, which probably isn’t all that good.

Then we finished up with a few rounds each of sparring.

Again, I was put with the woman who gave me the black eye, who has been training considerably longer than I have. I do like fighting her because I learn a lot from it. Although at this late stage it’s getting a bit disheartening that I step out of the ring feeling like I still have so much more to learn.

Logically, that really shouldn’t matter because I know that we haven’t been training long enough to be enormously impressive boxers. But things are starting to get a bit jumpy now that we’re ONE WEEK away from the fight. Literally by this time next week it will all be over and we’ll be getting smashed in Camden at the afterparty.

Provided we don’t get too smashed in the ring.

There are some key things that I really need to have done by now. For instance, my elbows aren’t very close together in my tuck. I think this is because I’m generally a pretty wide person anyway (and, especially recently, have been carrying that more confidently and have stopped trying to make myself look smaller) and because I’m terrified of not being able to see between my gloves. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that I’m leaving my face open to punches.

When I got home, I had a message showing me the line up of the night, so I now know who I’ll be fighting.

I have not sparred with her since the very earliest drills.

The decision to pair us up makes sense, I think, because she’s the closest to my weight. But she is considerably taller than me. She also has martial arts experience before this. But she has missed a good handful of sessions recently.

So I honestly don’t know how I feel about the decision. I’m still processing it.

On the one hand, I really don’t think that the fighting style I’ve sort of fallen into will work well against her. I’m pretty cautious, I move after my opponent. I kind of wait for them to flag and then go. But she does the same thing.

So it won’t work with her. She can probably take a more solid punch than me. And it’ll be tough for me to reach her head, meaning most of my blows are going to be body shots, which won’t have as much of an impact if I’m trying to wear her out.

On the other hand … well, it’ll definitely be a challenge and likely pretty fierce to watch and that, after all, is what I’ve been saying for a long time I want out of the fight. Which is still true. But I think the challenge I was envisioning wasn’t having to hope for the best as I pummel the stomach of someone who has a much clearer shot of my head.

Hopefully I’ll get a better feel for how to get an advantage on Wednesday.

Y’all now have just ONE WEEK to get your donations in and buy your tickets. Go do the thing.

You can buy tickets here.

And you can donate here.

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