The past few months I've been making fight clothing for the guys in my gym. Word spread and I started doing work for other fighters in my state. I decided to get serious with it, and I'm officially open for business!
I've been sparring hard the past few weeks. One night I went seven rounds with two different guys. By the end I had a swollen nose a sore jaw. My trainer happily told everyone, "She's not a weenie." It's silly, but I definitely felt proud.
A few weeks ago, I landed a hard clean upper cut on a sparring partner and gave him a bloody nose. All the guys gave me high fives and gold stars made me feel like I'm finally getting it.
In a quiet moment later in the evening, my main trainer took me aside and said, "You've done well, but, remember: it might be your blood on the ground next time."
It was a perfect reminder of the importance of humility; because there is always more to learn, and more that can be improved. I've learned that the best way to progress is to accept myself as I am, to be grateful for the things I'm good at, and practice and repeat over and over the things that are weak. A day at a time. I'm going to be better than I am.
I got my teeth cleaned last week, and while I was at the dentist's office, I asked the man if he could make me a custom mouth guard. He asked why I needed one and I told him that I've been boxing. He had his assistant take a mold of my top teeth right away and I picked up a perfect fitting mouth guard three days later.
I don't get nearly as tired during sparring, because I can breathe so much more easily than I could with the slobbery poor fitting mouth guard I got from the sporting store. A perfect fitting mouth guard for $30. Totally worth it.
Last week I showed up at the gym to train and the guys pulled out a big box and handed it to me. I opened it and discovered an amazing gift from them: brand new boxing boots and a cool shirt! I was speechless, because I've had my eye on these boxing boots for a few months, but I never mentioned it to anyone. They even got the size right! They told me that I've worked hard enough to deserve a prize.
Every day I feel humbled to be surrounded by some of the most amazing men on the planet. They encourage me, punch me, and help me achieve my goals. They're strong and kind and patient. I love my new gift, but I love my boxing brothers even more. They are the greatest.