|Sempai Harry and me|
Before the fight:
|Nice lean, hoping the other coach didn't notice|
I didn't think I could fight this past Saturday. My leg was healing but it constantly felt like there was a knot just above my knee joint. Wednesday came and Shihan calls me and asks if I can fight. He said they had a fight for me. Just one fight. I decided I could do one fight. I knew who they had, Ivanna.
I had fought her before, a year and a half before and lost. The losing to her really wasn't effecting my nerves because I might have won. That was my first fight, semi-contact. I fought one girl then 5 minutes later I fought Ivanna. I was her first fight, she was my second and I was so tired. I had some really bad cardio then, really bad. Still it went into extension and I lost to a 3-2 split decision. Had I not already fought, it would have been mine. Time had passed since then and she was in Canada with me. She trains very hard and is a fierce competitor.
My nervousness was from me feeling like I hadn't put in the work. I think it was only a month and a half ago that I really got my head into the game. I trained so hard and so much after that, I was over-training. Doing weights in the morning, cardio in the after noon and training at night for 2 to 3 hours, 6 days a week. My hands were bruised, my thumb sprained, knuckles bloody, feet bruised, and I was tired. So tired that everyone was kicking my ass. A few days before I got hurt the first time, Shihan had a talk with all of us in the dojo, but he was really speaking to me. I don't think he knew all I was doing until that talk. He had me only doing weights twice a week and cardio once along with karate, and nothing more.
After the hits to my leg, and the bad performances at the dojo, my confidence spiraled down. I "knew" I was in over my head. I wanted to quit all day.
The day was one of the longest of my life. I woke up just wanting to get it over with. About 15 minutes after the semi-contact fights were over, the full contact fighters lined up on the mat. and about 40 minutes after that, it was time for Ivanna and I to fight. I was red.
|Shihan Petrovich, center ref|
The round was done and not a single flag was raised. Hikiwaki, the word I hate the most. I usually dread it because I have no oxygen left to fight again, but when I heard it this time, it wasn't so bad. I felt like I could go again.
I am not sure if the judges whistled because I was hurt or because the time was up. But my Shihan, the center ref, called for the corner judges to award the round and instead of hikiwaki, it was white flags. "Shiro", I heard called. I limped over and Ivanna gave me a big hug, limped a bit further and her coach hugged me too.
|Ivanna Williams and Patty Pittman|
Will I ever "know" that I can fight? That I deserve to be put on the mat with those black belt full contact fighters? I feel I deserve it today, but wait for two months out to the next fight. I will question and wonder and maybe even contemplate stepping down. But in the end, I will go through with it and I will be glad that I did.