Friday, May 13, 2011

Can't Think Straight

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.

jab
jab

double jab

double jab cross

one two
one two
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.

2 comments:

  1. I only took two boxing classes, but it was the most mentally and physically exhausting (in a good way) experience. You HAVE to focus mentally SO HARD as to be almost meditative.

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  2. You do push past. You have to because the round isn't over and you can't rest until the bell rings. Crazy simple, crazy complex. A paradox indeed.

    ReplyDelete

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