He was only sorting pears. Pitching the rotting ones into a can across the fruit aisle.
But when he went to throw, I ducked.
Or, rather, bobbed--to use the boxing term, because it's boxing that caused this reaction. Specifically, the punches to the ribcage I had endured the evening before.
Trainers train by punching where you're exposed, because you won't leave those elbows up for long. Whether a punch or pear is coming at you, there's no time to think; only the motions practiced thousands of times will save you.
Not thinking: not my specialty.
A barrage of punches were thrown before I determined that nothing creative was required of me, that I simply needed to freakin' get outta the way. I had been paired with the teacher to shadowbox, to theoretically take turns jabbing or weaving in air, but Emily would have none of that. I'd weave and she'd punch me in the gut. I'd jab and she'd slap my arm. No, I wasn't to move my feet. I was to stay six inches from her nose, and face what was coming.
It worked. Not thinking--reacting--kicked in. Removing my glasses helped some (knucklehead had me paranoid), my mind blurring with my vision. But mostly it was the hits that knocked the thinking out of me.
I have to say, It was kinda nice.