The fight & the Aftermath
So I stayed true to course and completed the 12 weeks training. Fight night arrived and I was nervous, a little scared, but I had a feeling of love and joy.
Walking into the venue and seeing the ring, had me feeling excited. I was soaking up the atmosphere and the positive vibes.
Eventually it was my turn to take the stage; I had purposely chosen an upbeat song to come out to. When my tune started, I had to stop myself from skipping down to the ring, I was happy, I felt good, I was in the moment, I waved at my family and friends, I was blowing kisses to them…. I loved the ring walk. All I could think about was how amazing everything was. I smiling in full beam.
When my opponent walked into the ring, I wanted to hug her, not the usual thing that you see fighters in the ring do. The fight commenced and I saw the look of determination in my opponents eyes, she wanted to knock my head off. All I could think of how lovely everything was as she landed another blow. My corner shouted at me to be more aggressive, to get her… I couldn’t or didn’t want to, I’m not sure.
I lost the fight which I knew before the result was announced. I was still in a state of joy, even when the compare announced the result I was still feeling good, I was buzzing…
He commented that I was still smiling. This state of bliss didn’t last long, when I got back to my corner, my team were saying that I needed to be more aggressive, that I didn’t want it, I didn’t leave it all in the ring. The elation I was feeling burst like a balloon. I felt ashamed, less than, I had let everyone down.
Friends and family were congratulating and commiserating me at the same time. It was the same comment over and over again, I needed to be more, I wasn’t fierce enough…..
I couldn’t hear the positive comments that were mixed up in the ‘constructive feedback’.
I was distraught.
The tears started to flow and I couldn’t stop them. Then the little voices started in my head. Why wasn’t I aggressive, why didn’t I want to have a tear up in the ring? Others commented that when they got into the ring, they felt a switch go off or they had a hunger in their belly for the win, I didn’t. I felt useless.
The voices continued, was it more important for me to be nice than win? Was I capable of winning, was my ‘lack’ of performance as a result of me believing that I didn’t deserve to win, I was drowning in a sea of negativity, shame, guilt etc..
I just wanted to get changed and leave venue quietly, skulk out unseen, but I couldn’t.
A friend of mine was also fighting on the same night and wanted me to walk out with her. So I got changed, combed my hair, put on my face, stood tall, pushed my shoulders and planted the I’m okay smile on my lips and accompanied my friend on her ring walk.
She was in the zone, totally focused; her ring walk song had a fighting message in it. She wasn’t smiling or clapping, she was serious. Her fight commenced and I saw what thought I was supposed to do. She and her opponent were having an absolute tear-up.
There was no respect, no love lost. I thought to myself, ‘was I supposed to do that’. I watched the fight after that and the women again were going at it like they were fighting for their life.
It never occurred to me that I had to get ugly and fight.
This opened the flood gates again, I felt like shit. I was ‘could-ing’ and ‘should-ing’ all over the place, berating myself for not being enough to even try to win.
What was loud and clear to me was that I felt unable to be aggressive, maybe it’s because I fear it, to me it’s ugly, unsafe and toxic and being it, expressing it scared the hell out of me.
Again, I was saying to myself – what is wrong with me… This turmoil continued well into the next day, my partner had to be in hand with a ton of tissues and do a lot of consoling.
I eventually spoke to another person who put a totally different spin on it. She alluded that my victory was complete at the moment I got to the ring. That the actual fight was of no consequence and fighting was not in me. This lifted me, the tears stopped and I felt a calmness I hadn’t felt for a few days, but oh no this feeling was not to last. Although it did make me feel better, it was not my truth. I was lost in a sea in the thought and opinions of others; I couldn’t hear my own voice. I was fearful of dwelling in the emotion of the situation as this zaps my joy, but unable to leave it alone.
Self Love and Self Forgiveness
The struggle is how to deal with it without getting into the drama of it.
How do I reframe it to something that has no sting?
How do I get back to feeling proud of myself for having the balls to step into the ring in the 1st place?
The 1st step I think is to be gentle with me, although I have a crazy quest for finding the golden nugget that is going to release me from what I have created; it is not the be all and end all.
It starts with self-love and self-forgiveness. I feel like I abandoned myself for choosing to listen and internalise the comments of others. I chose to take it and run with it, nurture it and grow it into the situation I am still in. I wish to be free of it, to take all the time I need for my voice and my truth to come forth… and breathe…