Earliest memory: I'm four, sitting in a small, windowless, wood-paneled room. A box is pushed across a large desk. "Sort the shapes," a voice says. I look in the box: triangles, squares. Circles. Really? I look to the grown-up in charge of my fate, searching for clues. Can it be true I'll be deemed smart enough for kindergarten, if not old enough, based on such a test as this?
At no point does relief cross my mind; there's no celebration that the prize is in the bag. No, what I think to myself is this: there's something I'm missing. What's in front of me is too obvious, too easy. I've got to look at this in some other way.
At four, and still at forty, my perspective has always been this: the obvious is too obvious. Let me think around, behind and through, instead.
Which is why boxing is so refreshing. There's strategy and technique to be learned, but in the end, all you have to think about is this one person in front of you. That's it.
double jab cross
one two duck
one two duck
one two three
one two three with a right behind
one two three step
one two three step try it again nice
My trainer checked his watch. "A four-minute round!" I grabbed my side: a cramp.Where was it a moment ago? Because that's what happens when you're paying attention to just the one thing, facing it straight on; you push past where you ever thought you could go.