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So on mondays I get in the ring for an hour with these guys. They are all fighters. I most certainly am not. It’s kind of like getting into a slow-speed car wreck that lasts three minutes. And then doing it again. And again. And again. Six to eight rounds, with bag work, mits, blitzing thrown in.

I stepped into one today, man. Talk about ringing my bell.

Anyway. I get a lot out of it. I get my adrenaline fix, I get to face my own weakness head on, and I get to hit people.

Win-win.

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But.

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I have a little anger thing going. You might know me pretty good for a long time and not even notice it. Or you might catch me on a bad day, get the idea I’m kind of an asshole. It all depends.

I mean, its not like I’m mad all the time or anything. It’s just that, well, I got that speed in me.

*

So is this getting in the ring thing bad?

Does it feed the dark gorilla in my soul?

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Nah.

*

I tell myself it’s good for me. I like it, it keeps me honest, it makes me reach down deep for something. Sometimes I find it, sometimes I don’t. It’s gone. You have that moment, you need something and you dig for it and you ain’t got it, that’s a moment. That thing right there is true. You want it, you need it bad, but you didn’t do what was necessary. You were soft. You were lazy. You didn’t put it in, so it’s not there when you wanna take it out.

That’s a kind of truth.

*

I mean, it’s easy in this world to get by sometimes, to fake your way through. The ring is one place you can’t do that. You are what you are in a fundamental way there.

Everything else is stripped away.

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That’s an overblown way of saying it, but it points to something vital nonetheless.

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I suppose there’s bound to be good and bad sort of bound up together in it. I’d be wrong to deny the violence and brutality, but I’d be wrong too not to look beneath that at what else is moving there.

*

The monk left today. We are luxuriating in having the house to ourselves again. But we’ll miss him terribly.

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I got so much to learn.
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