There was that day. It probably was what made me push even further, but just as easily could have broken me. It wasn’t one that was easiest for me to forget. I spend a good year winning a lot of my fights. I was started to get notice and become more popular. My name was being spoken more often, I felt this overwhelming feeling of support as people began to chant my name in the crowd, motivating me to win.
Father was also very supportive, as was the rest of my family. I had literally fought my way to where I am. This support and popularity, I had won it. It was mine. I still had the support even when there was a fight or two that I would lose. I wasn’t fighting anyone famous, nor was my name is the paper. People didn’t pay big money for me. At least now just yet.
That’s why this fight was so important for me. Winning this fight would mean I could move forward with boxing as my career. I could make something out of myself.
Father could finally be proud of who I was becoming.
That match was actually no different from any other match. I was in the lead, getting more hits in. I just needed to tackle her, without giving her an upper hand. My moves were already planned out as I watch her steps. A hit in and she hits right back stunning me. I try to shake it off dodging the next hit, but my reaction to slow and I move away from it.
Her blow throws me off as she see me struggling to stay focus she grabs me trying to pin me down, but I force her away before she a chance to throw me to the floor. My blood now underneath me and I realize I have a burning pain on the side of my cheek as blood drips down from it. I busted my lips on one of her punches and my breathing is off. I’ve been using too much force, she is slowly getting the upper hand.
She comes at me again, my defense officially sluggish. With no way to block she gets a hit right to my temple. As I am pushed by the force, she hits me again on my lower side and pain spreads from impact. I cry out in pain as I fall to the floor, breathing was officially impossible as I lay there everything already fading to black as I gasp for air I can’t seem to reach.
Amusingly out of all senses the first one to be alert was my sense of hearing. The steady sound of a machine beeping. Then my sense of touch, someone was sitting next to me in an annoyingly white room. Then the pain. Getting stronger with each passing second. Wincing in pain, a hand grab mine. “Baby girl, you’re okay now” mother’s voice was soothing. I tried to fight the anesthetic, but fell back asleep.
Again I woke up this time easier, the pain no longer as intense. But my body felt stiff from lack of movement. It was sluggish and breathing was still a discomfort. It was late at night and the once incredibly bright lights have now become dim in the background. Looking to my side my father was there, asleep in a sitting position. Memories of my last fight finally came back to me. Looking down at myself I tried moving only to stop shortly, out of breath and in pain yet again. I suck my teeth in annoyance, causing my father to wake up.
“How are you feeling?” he grumbles still waking up. Slights bags under his eyes as he survey my reaction. “Like shit. I am gonna take a wild guess here, I didn’t win” I comment upset. To which he laughs at. “No, instead you suffered a mild concussion, and a fractured rib” he explains as he gets up pressing a button to bring the nurse in. “I can keep fighting though, right?” I ask immediately fearful of what the worst case could be.
Getting up he smiles as he watches the nurse check my vitals. “You’re fine” he pats my back causing me to wince, he pulls back not wanting to cause further damage. “You just need to rest and train” he tells me his hand in mine. Father isn’t very forward with showing compassion, so the small gesture brings me at ease. I would hate to disappoint him.
The floor was behaving like my best friend today. My body ache, and my heart felt as if it was going to jump right out of my chest. Taking deep breaths I get up again. At least in the gym I wouldn’t be so dirty. No, instead father insisted we started to train in our backyard for now and then once I am able to fully bounce back, I can hit the gym. I grab my shirt shaking the dirt off of it.
Bringing my hands back into position again. I am trying to attack, to land one good punch. “Arms up!” father screams throwing a right hook. I can’t dodge it,the motion making me nervous, my heart in my throat. I close my eyes pulling my hands up to cover my face from the blow. “Susan, pay attention!” he yells frustrated, pulling his fist away.
Of course he is upset, we have been at this for over an hour now and no progress. My vision blurs and I blink away the tears. “Again” he says and I am ready to give up. “Arms up” he calls out and I bring them up. The same way I have done over the years that he has trained me.
My footing is off, as he tap my foot with his, making me adjust it. “Come on, you got this” he says trying to show he supports me, but it’s not working. The fact that I just can’t is stuck in my mind. My mind and body aren’t in sync, no matter how much I will myself to believe I can do it. I’ve done it for years why couldn’t I now.
Again we circle around each other, he throws the first punch and I duck it trying to get past it. But I am too slow, I hit him, but he easily pulls my hand away before my fist could strike. I try again but nothing connect, I can’t throw a proper punch. My frustration gets to me as I bring my hands up, throwing punch after punch, wild swings screaming in anger. “Keep that anger of yours under control” he yells as he deflect them all. My face feels hot and I feel the tears again, stinging my eyes threatening the show how vulnerable I have become.
He brings a punch in of his own, but my hands drop. Frozen like a deer under headlights. The need to flee course through my body, but I can’t move from where I am standing. I close my eyes, gasping for air that seems to be thinning. But the punch doesn’t ever land. Of course it doesn’t, he always pulls back when he thinks I won’t deflect it.
“Daddy, mom needs your help!” My sister calls out to him, I open my eyes to see her by the door.“Now she says!” she runs over, looking at father and me. “Break” he tells me as he pulls his gloves off and goes into the house. Not noticing until I try to move, my knees are shaking. I am shaking. Relief and regret of that relief flood through me, my body gives up. Falling on my knees I rip the gloves off throwing them in anger. I hold back a sob as I hug myself, like scared animal nursing a wound. Arms wrap around me and I am crying into my sister’s arm. “It’s okay, it will get better” She comforts me as I let it out.
When I finally calm down, she brings me inside and into my room. My stomach growls but I refuse to eat, angry at myself. “Do you want me here?” she asks softly. I shake my head no and with a kiss to my cheek she leaves closing the door.
It’s been like this for a while, and I am slowly starting to despise father for introducing me to this world. He has pushed me so hard, and all I do is disappoint him now. I fall back into bed, wrapping my body around my pillow. I’m fearful that I won’t overcome this stupid trauma. Is this where my career in boxing ends, it hasn’t even fully begun. Father words come to me “Fight, you’re not weak, only the weak give up” But they don’t motivate me this time, instead they make me feel small and weak, a feeling I am not used to. When did I become so pathetic?