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Fighting Oneself (拳击自己)

Original article published in 联合早報 (Lian He Zao Bao) on 17 Nov 2015. Below is a best-effort translation by Onyx MMA.

 

In the atypical fashion when friends gather, we'd chat and go at length on anything and everything. The conversation pieces can range from world events to the individual hobbies. In one such gathering, I found out that a buddy of mine have been learning Muay Thai for some time. It quickly don onto me that he actually looked more radiant, fitter, and alluded a sense of health and well being. I dropped a few praises left right centre at his new outlook, to which he gladly and readily accepted with glee.

 

Like a seasoned maestro, he encouraged me to find a sport and stay passionate with it. While I was brushing it off, he commented that I was burying myself in work and was beating myself up. I disagreed, and retorted that I always remained active, and I had always gone crazy and enjoyed myself thoroughly with all the multitude of exercises or activities that I do.

 

He shook his head in disapproval.

 

"Passion, is beyond the short moment of fun and madness, but a loyalty to what you enjoy."

 

His words weighed heavily, and I reflected deeply. In the fog of my memory, I pin point traveling as the only hobby in which I stayed loyal to. No other items came to mind. It cast a slight hint of doubt in me; that I had not truly stuck loyal to the things that I liked. It solidified my resolute to search deeper, and search wider, for more things to like, and to be truly passionate and loyal to these things that I liked.

 

As a start state, I decided that I'd follow him to a class in Onyx.

 

 

What was originally meant to be a passing by lesson, became a lesson that I didn't want to end.

 

I reached the gym, but not entering it. Whilst I took the approach slow, the overwhelming and overflowing aura of dominance and strength from the gym became apparent to me. In all honesty, at that very moment, I was stunned, rooted, and a little fearful of this aura creeping out towards me. It made every step towards the doors of the gym a tremedous effort.

 

Analytically, this feeling was akin to the first time I did sky diving, like the first time I went on a roller coaster ride. To feel as though the next step that I took was "it", and it would send me into the dark abyss of the unknown.

 

While I lament, the sound of my heart beat became louder. I am familiar with this sound; the clarity of my heart beating, as though a guiding rhythm for the next step, and the next.

 

 

I looked onto the rest of the trainees jump relentlessly on the skipping ropes for warm up, as I did as well. The simplicity, and the purity of this simple action of jumping, continuously, struck a chord in my heart. It made me rethink the usual swimming and running that I've been doing, and realised that when compared to these people who's warming up on the ropes effortlessly, what I did previously were probably child's play to them.

 

In the one and a half hour of training, the feeling of vomitting and my heart exploding were scheduled every 15 mins. My pores were out of control, and was emitting large amount of sweat fluids. My body transformed into an atmosphere of rain, showered down with huge and warm sweat beads. The sweat shower never stopped, but the training, and the aura of learning to be better never stopped too. Strangely, it made me not wanting to stop as well.

 

Every trainer smiles gently, and repeats the same 2 words that has little or no meaning: "Good. Continue.". My limbs no longer recognised me as their master. They moved and heeded, instead, to the words of the trainers. I began to wonder, if Onyx was actually a magical land, where the trainers were all wizards enchanting the trainees with spells, and where the mind of the individuals are lost with the powerful words of the trainers.

 

Alas, even until the very end of the class, and even after the trainers cooled us down, I still had not come to terms that I had actually done, and completed the class in totality. It made me realise, what it meant to complete something, and what it truly meant to complete something thoroughly.

 

I've always thought that I did my tasks and duties with due dilligence and accord. But after this class, I realised that I was merely putting in effort blindly, and that there's still a distant gap from doing it to the best of my ability. I realised, deeply, that the "me" before this class, had never really done anything to the fullest extent of my capability.

 

Fighting, is not just striking the punching bag in front of you, nor it is defeating a faux enemy. It is about defeating the fortress of presumptuousness in yourself.

 

 

Read the original piece in Chinese below!

 

朋友聚会闲话家常,从国家大事谈到身边琐事,这才知道自己的好哥儿学泰拳已经有段时间,他的体格和肤色明显健康强壮。赞他几声帅,使他飘飘然,一向自信的他更分外自大。

 

他鼓励我要热衷一项运动,不要埋头苦干把身体搞砸,我反驳着,我一直蹦蹦跳跳什么活动、运动都玩的很疯呀。

 

他摇头。

 

“热衷,不是为了一时的疯狂,而是,坚持着当下的喜欢。”

 

想想自己除了旅游,似乎没有事情让自己坚持到底,难道我除了旅游,没有任何事情喜欢吗?我想试试,我想试着找获更多的喜欢,更多的坚持。

 

于是,我就答应到他的拳击馆ONYX试一堂课。

 

一堂原以为只是路过的课,却教我认真甚至不想下课的一堂课。

 

在还没没走进拳击馆时,就感受那霸气外泄的磁场,说真的,我被那热血沸腾的气氛摄住,然后怯场,整个身体就停止不向前跨出。

 

那种感觉就像是在纽西兰第一次玩降落伞,第一次玩过山车那般步步惊心,好像只剩下一步就掉入悬崖,那种悸动很实在也很熟悉。

 

我了解笨女人,她越是听清自己心跳的节奏,越是会随着节拍走去。

 

看着大伙儿光是热身就是不停歇地跳绳,那么纯粹地跳,也让我怦然心动,突然觉得自己平时的跑步游泳(休息停下的时间居多),简直就是小孩玩泥沙。

 

一个半小时的课,我几近每隔十五分钟就快要呕吐和休克感觉,汗水完全失控,我从来不知道自己的身体可以下一场热呼呼的大雨,可好奇的是那氛围丝毫没让人有放弃的念头。

 

每个导师都温柔地笑着,重复没有内容的两句口号:“很好,继续。”双手双脚根本就不认我这个主人,只听取那强而有力的叫唤。难道,这里是魔法的世界,那句句都是咒语,让人不能自己?

 

直到尾声,如释重负,我没想过自己也能完成地那么干脆。我终于分清楚什么是做完一件事,什么是做好一件事。

 

一直以为自己做事用心用力,但原来自己只不过是很努力,离尽力还有一大段距离,在这堂课之前的我其实从不够尽全力。

 

拳击,不是教你打倒眼前的沙包,打败假想敌,而是要你先击垮自己的狂妄。

 

笔名:笨女人
栏名:我心我愬

刊登: 联合早报,17日11月2015年

 

 

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