The last two weeks before a fight are a bit torturous. Your hardest training is over, so you are physically changing gears- downshifting the body toward recovery so you can peak in the ring. You’re trying your hardest to keep your mind contained because now it’s louder than the physical exhaustion you were using to drown the internal noise.
As a coach, I still feel edgy, ready to pounce. I have less patience for things that normally don’t cause a blip in my heart rate. Everything that has nothing to do with my fighter’s preparation is an annoyance. I love this state as it’s a short lived experience. It makes me sharp, calculating, attentive and hyper-aware.
I keep an eye on my fighter to make sure their anxiety is manageable, that their sympathetic nervous system doesn’t take over and rob them of their intelligence. I’m there for reminders in their preparedness, that it’s normal to feel nervous and that they are ready to go. I’m also there to laugh and keep things light so we don’t get lost in the seriousness of what we are about to face. I am a shield of protection, keeping them in the bubble of competence we have established over thousands of grueling hours.
I love my job, I love my boxers and I love this sport that elevates us all to higher levels of consciousness.
Fist bump Kevin when you see him, keep the conversation minimal and we’ll see you on the other side of the ring Saturday night when we can all relax and enjoy the outcome of our intense labor!