This past Saturday, one of my boxers had a bit of a crying breakdown. I’m actually surprised that it took this long because she has been sparring awhile.
When I first started sparring, I think I cried darn near every time I sparred for about my first month and intermittently for my first year. I’d be in the ring, getting in my sparring rounds and right after, damned if the tears didn’t start coming. I’d toss off my headgear, run for my gym bag and blaze the hell out of the gym trying not to be seen. I felt humiliated, as if crying only happened to me and that I was some sort of baby in the eyes of others. A weakling.
The worst part was that I didn’t even know why the tears would come. As I was headed home, I couldn’t even determine what brought on the tears. Sometimes nothing monumental would happen. I didn’t even have to take a big punch and the tears would overcome me like a bad dream. Even stranger, I kept wanting to come back and spar over and over again, no matter how many times I felt awful.
Something was being uncovered. Something old and deep was emerging from depths I had long ago forgotten. Sparring was exposing this amorphous thing to my sub-conscious first. Even in hindsight, whatever was being uncovered is still amorphous. It was a lot of un-felt hurt, but none of it had a specific name or face. Now, I’m a lot more aware of what I think when I’m in the ring and I’m also a lot more aware of what I feel now. Back then, not so much.
These depths being uncovered are obstacles for us to discover when we are ready and sparring is a beautiful way to get information. When I am going through difficult times or I’m hurting and don’t know how to talk about it, I always count on my sparring rounds to help me find some solace.
I hope I can impart upon all my current and future sparring boxers that some answers will be clear and some won’t, but the body and the heart will know and that is all that really matters to heal wounds.
From Paradigm Shift Books: “Our heart is also a thinking organ. This may come as a shock to some but the heart is also a feeling and thinking organ like the brain. After extensive research, one of the early pioneers in neurocardiology Dr. J. Andrew Armour, introduced the concept of a functional “heart brain” in 1991. His work revealed that the heart has a complex intrinsic nervous system that is sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a “little brain” in its own right. The brain is more rational while the heart is more intuitive. (HeartMath) Your brain opens the doorway to infinite intelligence while your heart does the actual communicating. The heart generates an incredible electromagnetic field and has a nervous system separate from the brain. Yes the heart can produce feelings independent of the brain (it can even remember). The feelings of the heart are more reliable than the feelings of the brain. What sometimes causes confusion is we don’t know if our feelings are being created by our rational brain or our intuitive heart.”