Lesson Learned

When someone punches you in the head you don’t expect to hear “You can’t screw an old head on young shoulders.”  Yet the first two or three times he hit me that is exactly what I heard my father say. Dad wasn’t there for the fight, but I had heard him say it so many times it wasn’t hard to imagine him saying it again. It sort of surprised me to hear that. I don’t know what I expected but it was different than that.

I don’t know, maybe I thought that it would be similar to the Batman show from the 1960s. You know the one with Adam West where every blow was accompanied by an animated “pow” or “oomph.” It is kind of silly to read those words because that wasn’t the first time that I had been hit. Well, that is not entirely true. It was the first time that I had been hit with boxing gloves every other time had been with a fist or foot.

This time was different. I was twenty years-old and standing in the center of a boxing ring. Young, dumb and stupid Jack had agreed to spar with a guy who was my height but no where close to my weight. At the time it had seemed like a good idea. I had been spending hours in the gym each day and my body showed it. I had taken the swimmers body I had in high school and carved it up in ways that would have made Michelangelo jealous.

So when the guy at school asked me if I was interested in checking out his boxing regimen I said sure. I had heard that boxers had a decent training routine and figured that it might be fun to try it out.

Just before I stepped in the ring one of the guys there asked me if I was certain of what I was doing. I nodded my head and smiled. He looked at me and suggested that I wipe the smile off of my face before the other guy saw it. I told him that maybe he should tell the skinny guy to watch out because I really was much bigger.

In between rounds I leaned against the ropes and tried to figure out how to catch him in a corner. I knew that if I landed one solid shot I would be good. Moments later he danced around and sent a glancing blow off of my body and I thought, “Lesson Learned.”

This post was based upon a prompt from The Red Dress Club.

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  1. TheJackB July 26, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    @tiaras-and-trucks I only hope that my kids hear that same voice, er my voice in their heads. Give them something to slow down and think about what they are doing. Most of the dumb things of my youth were because I didn’t think it out.

  2. TheJackB July 26, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    @amyplus1x3 That ring was the problem. Up until that point differences of opinion that got physical were more like MMA fights. Inside the ring I had no clue- but it was good lesson.

  3. amyplus1x3 July 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    It’s amazing how dumb we are when we are young! At least you were in a boxing ring!

  4. tiaras-and-trucks July 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Oh, the confidence of youth…I am so sorry your boxing skills didn’t work out as well in practice as they did in theory. I loved the part about your Dad’s voice in your head as you were fighting.

  5. TheJackB July 26, 2011 at 7:41 am

    @weforgotyounot I could list several lessons. It was the day that I learned that what you see isn’t always what you get. It was a lesson in humility. It was a shining example of the need to think before I speak………

  6. TheJackB July 26, 2011 at 7:39 am

    @galitbreen I can’t answer for anyone else- but when you are a 20 year-old male, or at least 20 year-old me it is because you are stupid.

    I had been in fist fights before that and never lost. I figured that some skinny guy would be easy- didn’t think about how different it would be than the others.

  7. TheJackB July 26, 2011 at 7:37 am

    @LetMeStart He beat me silly, up the ring and then down the ring. I did get my one shot in- put him on his ass and then they wouldn’t let me stay in the ring with him.

    More than 20 years later I am happy that they made me get out- dude was a real boxer and the only reason I landed my shot because he was stupid.

    But I learned a lot from that experience.

  8. LetMeStart July 26, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Love it. Love your dad ringing in your ears. Love seeing how you thought of yourself in your 20s. Love that you got your ass handed to you by some skinny dude. (Sorry) That was great!

  9. galitbreen July 26, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Oh no! Poor you! I felt the hits right alongside you. Why *do* we take challenges like that?! 🙂

  10. weforgotyounot July 26, 2011 at 2:35 am

    And what exactly was the lesson, other than the obvious one?

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