Boxing is like a metaphor for my life. Today I sparred with a girl and got beaten up. Mentally I felt weak. Granted, she was more experienced, she was tougher and fitter and stronger, but I gave up. I cried. Sparring can be emotional. There are so many mental and physical blocks you have to work through, push through and sometimes it is just so exhausting. I was affirmed later when she told me that she too had to have the shit beaten out of her quite a few times and that was what made her stronger. I was moving back a lot during the sparring, so I was on the ‘back foot’. She told me that you use up more energy that way. It makes sense. Being on the ‘back foot’ in life is exhausting too – so much energy used to just try and keep going. I have felt like that all my life. The pang of living overwhelming me, that my way out was to fantasise about death. I guess that goes back to my past, my abuse. To die was the way out of all that. It sure seemed like a better option. I remember writing a letter to God at the age of 9 years, asking him to take my life. He didn’t respond. I have so many parts in me that don’t want to live, to keep going is a definite choice, a commitment. But the urge to live must be stronger, surely, because I do keep going and moving forward. Today reminded me it is is a battle to do so. My instinct is to be on the back foot, to freeze (to dissociate), but when you are in the ring, you can’t do that. In or out of the ring, I don’t have a choice. I am thankful to God that I have found boxing. This great metaphor for my life. An odd recovery tool, but one that works for me. I want to get better, I don’t want to give up. I know that it is smarter, better, wiser to be on the front foot. To respond, to watch, to listen, to learn, to act. I want to focus and to achieve. I keep going, even though sometimes daily it is a struggle. I know that I will get through this rough patch with boxing and life. I do have faith in that and I am glad I keep pushing through and not giving up. I don’t really have a choice I guess. Because the pain and misery wants to kill me, but that means the darkness wins. Deep down, I am an optimist and I know that God has already won. But the battle is real and it is hard and it doesn’t always feel that way. As long as I keep showing up and moving forward, even if only inch by inch, I know that things will be okay and will have meaning.