The boxer sits in the corner. She carries the reminders of every glove that bruised her, winded her, and brought her to her knees.
To the bystander, the only evidence of a fight was her bald head – the legacy of her first round. But, she remembered. She remembered her decision to duck the nasty blow by taking the first clip. She remembered her hair tumbling to the ground in heaps at her feet and feeling rather victorious. That round left her a changed woman. She learned that she could not escape her opponent – not yet – but she could take a swing.
She remembered the confidence she brought to round two, perhaps too confident. It brought her to her knees, but only for an instant. She was not ready for that round. It was a good thing her team was so well prepared. They had seen others go down in round two before. Other fighters had taught them to be more ready. Those lessons learned came at a price so that future generations were more equipped. It was all about the “gear”. She was left with the ghosts of fear that were to haunt her forever more – but yet – she learned to rely on her team.
By round three, she had an expectation that her opponent would tire and retreat. She was well trained, disciplined in her routines, and ready for victory. Her team watched and supported. They cheered her on. She sat in the corner while her team prepped her for the fight. Her heart raced. “Calm down, Stacey, or you will not be able to fight as well.” She took a deep breath in and cast the memories of her previous battle out of her head the best she could. The scars remained and the fighter emerged. It would not be the knock-out round after-all.
“We are sending you back in for a couple more rounds, Stacey” announced the surgeon. The words winded her. She needed a time-out. This was tougher than she had anticipated and definitely not the fight she thought she had thrown into. There were so many supporters. There were so many people backing her – how could she not go back? There had never been any doubt that she would continue to swing, but for how long?
Round four. A little rougher and tougher. She had weakened. Her team continued to wipe her brow. “Just one more round, Stacey” they encouraged. And she held her breath. Back to training with her lead coach by her side. The moments turned into days and the days into weeks. Finally, she was ready for round five.
It was to be a different fight this time. It was to test her resolve. It was to be one of the most bone-crunching moments of her battle to date. The price to pay for good health was to be high. No pain, though, no gain. In the corner, there was no choice but to work with it. In the corner, she could not run and hide. In the corner, she needed to come out swinging.
The boxer sits in the corner. She carries the reminders of every glove that bruised her, winded her, and brought her to her knees. She dawns her gloves and refocuses her energy. “It is time, Stacey. Drink this. Lay here. Deep breath in, hold, and breathe normally again.” What would the CT reveal? Had she fought hard enough? Had she slept enough? Did her own defenses do their job well enough? A million questions ran through her head. Would she have the courage to face the next round – and what would that round look like?
In the corner, it is either fight or flight and flight was not an option. She will cry out victory. She will carry the scars. She will remain the fighter.
Simon and Garfunkel: The Boxer(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3LFML_pxlY)
“In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down or cut him
‘Til he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving, I am leaving
But the fighter still remains