Boxing transcends cinematic stereotypes – tangible ropes trumping tired tropes. My strength between four posts not in my arms or legs but in my peace. Outside that ring vibes chaos and anxiety. Inside, calm. Every move telegraphed, I let go and let Zen. Mind and body instinctively knowing what to do, I focus instead on my breath. I take the punches; they are men and have something to prove. When the time is right, my own arm extends, and there’s power behind it – more than I would have imagined. Connect, connect, connect. Go back to breathing, wait while he defensively returns strikes. Wait some more. Allow in some of the world around me. Cool on my knees. Hollow echoes of other men grunting, huffing. The bell rings. I don’t want it to. It rings again. I’m in the ring and back to within. Tarry long as it takes. Take pleasure in the bounce. Locked into the second. Then shut it all out. And be. Zoom in on his eyes. Breathe. Let go and connect. Dive into the breach. Connect again. Well-timed bursts of passion – not violence – coiled in the core of me for decades, cowering in fear. No fear now. This is home. I glide through the breach. And find catharsis. And find my self. Connecting. Again and again.




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