I often think of my father when I write or when I pull on boxing gloves. He boxed while he was in the Air Force, and while I’d never hop into the ring, it brings a connection all the same. My father also wanted to be a fiction writer, but the one story he sent off to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine was rejected and he gave up. I have that original typed story and the original rejection letter; the story only needed a little tweaking.
My dad gave up fiction writing, just as he gave up boxing. Who knows what he may have accomplished had he not given up? When he told me he was proud of my writing “success,” I wondered what regrets he had for the demise of his own writing dreams.
There is a perceived weakness that keeps us from realizing our potential, when we don’t recognize that potential and falter in the face of what masks itself as failure.
My first boxing workout session, I punched the hell out of the bag with my right fist, but the left punch was weak and puny. I flailed away yet my left arm made only a few unremarkable contacts with the bag.
It frustrated me, this weakness, but the more I concentrated on the way my left fist felt when it connected to the bag, the more I hated punching with that fist. I mumbled excuses as to why my left jab was pathetic: I’m right-hand dominate; I use my right hand much more often and it’s stronger; maybe there’s a pinched nerve on my left side causing weakness, blah blah blah excuses excuses excuses.
Two days later, I headed to my workout room pissed off about something, put in my earbuds to my techno music, and slid on the gloves. Without thinking about what I was doing or how I was doing it, I just began punching the bejeebus out of that bag—right right right left left left right left right left right right left left left LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT—POW BIFF BAM! [Read more…]