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Fighting

I take fitness so seriously because it saved me. I was bullied growing up like everyone else, but it affected me deeply. As a fledgling boxer my punches lacked a semblance of power, and I was unable to grasp the idea of putting my bodyweight behind my punches. I was so uncoordinated it took me a solid month to learn to engage my hips while throwing jabs, straights and hooks. But the gym provided sanctuary, kinship, and, most importantly, confidence  At 15 I was about 5’5” tall and 120 pounds. This was a defining period of my life, one that introduced me to violence and the terrible power it carried. As the weights I lifted grew, my punches sunk ever deeper into the bag, and my beloved pushups became a mere warmup, introducing me to my muse, calisthenics, a fire was ignited in my heart. My shoulders grew broader, and I squared them, setting my jaw against harsh, uncaring world. As a sheltered child, these early experiences taught me self-sufficiency and the value of strength, my favored virtue. One day, an old bully started testing one of my friends, lobbing insults his way. Emboldened by my training, I told said some choice words. He came up to me with a smug grin on his face, belying the amusement he felt at the prospect of fighting me. I stood up, fury radiating, and he sunk over 200 pounds of fat into a harsh shove, forcing me back down into my seat. Enraged with indignation, and triggered to onslaught by the attack, I responded. Pent up anger melded with young muscle eager to be tested. A jab and straight combo connected sharply, the dull, bracing thud of bone against bone enlivening my senses. I grabbed him by the shirt and drove him forward, knocking him over the teacher’s desk. He laid quietly, shivering and bleeding from the arm. Aghast, I realized with morbid surprise that I was in my element. My classmates faces spoke volumes to their shock, and in their eyes I seen distrust, fear, and curiosity. “Get the fuck outside!”, the teacher shouted. I departed, leaving the bully crying and shaking. Graduation followed, and I seen him at a bar a few years later on leave, his right arm still carrying the scar just above his elbow. We locked eyes, laughed and drank. He bought me a beer to thank me for my service, and I bought him a shot because I like to drink. He likes Jack Daniels. Good man.

Apparently I’m a big guy. If so, this is news to me, because I had no fucking clue. At the skyscraping height of 5’7” (5’ 8” in boots!) and a weight that fluctuates between 165 and 170 pounds, Im the next Mr. Olympia. For the retards, that was called sarcasm, although I know more then a few idiots who would believe such grandiose boasting was what I considered to be truth. There was the fat, bald former Lineman on deployment that didn’t like me because of the way I walked. He informed me graciously in a crowded room to embarrass me, so I called him Wilford Grimley and told him I had his diabetes medicine on standby. We kissed and made up. No, not really, theres sarcasm again. There was the passable blond with the ridiculous ass who, verbatim, didn’t like me because,” I worked in a gym, I know douchebags like you.”. From then on she was referred to as my “personal personal trainer”. She loved it, and now were dating. Or I may have drove her to tears by repeatedly insulting her at the Oasis in Dubai. Ill let you discern which is more likely. Long story short, Ive calmed down A LOT since I was younger, but one thing I will never stomach for an extended period is being judged strictly by my appearance by a mouth breather with the intellectual depth of a lemming. Try it and my response will depend on your gender, level of comfort with me, and my sobriety, or lack there of. Quite the chaotic mixture. Prepare accordingly. And don’t get angry if you start a verbal exchange and I say something that bites deep. I learned the finer points of the craft by sparring and Perrying with a certain asshole from Philadelphia, in what essentially led to me finding out everything about myself worth criticizing during several 12 hour shifts in Security over the Summer of 2014. Most important lesson, never take shit seriously, and know when to stop.

I was told by one of my older brothers while in VA that I have what amounts to an enemy mentality. When I pressed for information regarding the cryptic little statement, he told me that I never gave anyone the benefit of the doubt. Everyone was guilty until prove innocent. I was always ready to fight, figuring that if I couldn’t speak well, which was a stupid belief considering how well I write, I would speak with my hands. Im glad to have moved on from such a juvenile mindset, but remnants still permeate what Id like to believe is maturity. I still lash out at inopportune times because I believe someone slighted me, but for the most part Ive let go of the bitterness and resentment of my youth. The one thing that still gets to me is being judged by the way I walk. At the risk of blowing myself up as this great fighter, which I am not, at all, in any sense of the word, Ive dealt with enough idiots who challenged me for that very reason to know I can handle myself well. I look forward to it in a sadistic way. Its not nice, its not pretty, and its definitely not saintly, but whether through a bruised throat or a black eye and fat lip, Ive more then proven myself capable against the idiots of the world whose fists cant match their mouths. Strangely, its always the smaller guys or guys my size or a little larger who have problems with me, and theyre always, without fault, weaker than tissue paper run under a waterfall. The guys who would destroy me with a slap from their pinky finger are my friends 99% of the time. Natural selection I guess. In closing, always lead with your jab, never fight over a random bar slut, and for the love of God and all that is holy, keep your fucking chin down and tucked. Cheers.


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