It has been a good summer overall, but busy in ways I don't particularly like. Instead of being busy doing work for clients and writing, I've been hustling to generate new business and, with the great recession happening, it has been fairly slow going.
Nevertheless, my indomitable optimism and confidence is keeping me going. It really is a matter of attitude. I've tried to ignore or deny that--whining to my coaches (or myself) between some of the tougher rounds--that I was tired, that the other guy was stronger, that my whole fight plan was dissolving before my very eyes. One of my former coaches told me that I win or lose the bout, in my head, before I even step into the ring. I didn't like it much, because in one sentence, he pretty much erased all my excuses for losing.
Glen's giving me a lot of good help; he'll make a boxer out of me one of these days. I had a great one-on-one session with him the week before last and a good practice with him and the guys on Sunday morning. I know I keep saying this, but I need to give more time to developing the mental game. I had some really good sparring on Sunday with Howard and Greg, and some great drills with the two of them and with Dwayne and Jim. I need to take all of that, synthesize it, and develop some more specific rehearsal and visualization exercises.
Despite what might seem like some minor complaints, overall, I am pleased with my recent progress. My footwork is getting smoother and I'm definitely more balanced and at ease when moving. Probably my biggest challenge is to stay relaxed in the ring. It's amazing, but when I feel my arms, shoulders, or legs tensing up, I can tell myself simply, "Relax," and I'm able to let the tension flow right out of me. The big, remaining challenge is to maintain the self-awareness that tells me I'm tensing up and reminds me to relax. I can get there. I will get there.
Finally, a nice move Glen has me practicing is throwing a hard right hand to the chin of an opponent who is rushing me. As with any technique, it takes lots of repetition to master. I'll write more about it in a few days, but it helps me to focus on this move. I know I am making progress.