I will be stronger. Maybe.
Over the past few weeks I’ve dropped a couple pounds. Not much, but it feels good, like getting back into fighting shape. My one and only official amateur bout, 15-plus years back, I got creamed. Went up against a golden-boy with his own embroidered uniform and cheering squad. I had on a borrowed sweaty tank top from another fighter: my own shirt wasn’t regulation cut. I never went down, but at the end of three rounds the winner was clear, and it wasn’t me.
Nowadays boxing has no mojo; all the excitement in fighting has moved over to MMA. Can you name any boxer who’s held a title in the last 10 years? Strangely, even as the sport is waning, movies about boxers just keep coming out.
The most interesting fights, of course, aren’t boxing or MMA, but ideological battles, relationship dramas, and our own internal struggles. In the ring there’s always one official (if not always undisputed) winner. Outside the ring winners are harder to peg, especially so when we fight with ourselves. If we win, then who lost?
Excess weight has never been that big of an issue for me. I struggle with other kinds of flab and decay and battle a sweet tooth for mind treats. No matter. The fight goes on, long after our prime is over, and our big fat bellies (real or symbolic) hang out, with blood stains on our frayed shirts set in for good.
Digital artwork above from Chong Roden.