Mark and Monica had been together for seventeen years. Then, on their eighteenth anniversary, Mark came home with a bouquet of flowers, and Monica gifted him a manila envelope; she was filing for a divorce.
The decision of Mark’s future ex-wife was unexpected—a shot to the gut. Depression soon set in, causing Mark to bury his sadness with food and alcohol.
One day, Mark’s friend dragged him to participate in a kickboxing class.
After smashing the heavy bag with his shin, Mark’s bitterness, just for a second, vanished. For Mark, the kickboxing ring’s canvas painted a new reality.
The butterflies in Tyler’s stomach bounced around like heated molecules. After a handful of fights, he thought he had a handle on his nerves, but a belt on the line and a huge opportunity for his career injected some self doubt.
“Breathe and visualize,” Tyler’s teammate repeated, and a few butterflies began flying in formation.
Tyler didn’t worry about the peanuts the promoter called “cash” or about his head being bashed in; instead, he believed he could do something great in the sport, and a loss would stall everything.
An official poked their head into Tyler’s dressing room, “You’re up!”
“Man, your jab is rubbish,” Coach barked from the corner.
Eight rounds into a ten round sparring session, each of Joey’s sixteen-ounce gloves felt like they’d been dipped in lead, and he struggled keeping his hands close to his chin for defense let alone gain an advantage with any sort of offense.
Between rounds, Coach advised, “Measure your distance with a few stiff jabs, plant your feet, and then bring that right to his chin from the outfield.”
All Joey could muster was the biggest punch he could pull from the energy reserves, which, in reality, couldn’t have popped a grape at this point.
Joey’s sparring partner took advantage of the opening, peppering him with punches until he dropped to the canvas, and Coach was right there to remind him, “Jabs before haymakers, kid.”