Tonight I ate out at a sports-oriented casual restaurant with TV screens visible from almost every table. I always enjoy these places. Except tonight the screen directly above me was showing my least-favorite sport.
I consider this one of the testosterone sports — whenever more than one man gathers, conversation devolves into a question of who is the strongest, toughest, quickest, has the fastest horse or car, etc, etc. It’s just what men do. Kinda like chickens and their pecking order.
I had to take boxing in college for PE one semester, a requirement of attending a military school. We had headgear and oversized boxing gloves that looked like miniature brown pillows on the ends of our hands. The course included fighting three bouts of three one-minute rounds each. Or at least we were supposed to.
I got a D. I discovered I had a glass nose. Mine really isn’t that big (at least in my opinion) but as soon as it felt a blow of any force, it started bleeding. My first bout was only two rounds. Two minutes. As I climbed out of the ring, I saw there was a spot of blood on the canvas for every footstep I’d taken.
The same thing happened in my second bout. It was so frustrating that in the first few seconds of my third bout, I just stuck my nose out, “Here, hit it and get it over with.”
The only other part of the class I remember was one memorable bout between the biggest guy in the class and the second biggest. (Then there was a significant drop-off for the rest of us, which was fortunate because all my opponents were about my size.) The biggest guy still had a significant size advantage over number two. But the smaller had a very smart strategy — he came out swinging. He kept his larger opponent literally on his heels the entire time, and didn’t lose a drop of blood as a result. Unfortunately, I found such an approach easier said than done.
But before you dismiss my fighting skills completely, I have to tell you wrestling was next. I got a B in that, so it all balances out… eventually.
And I’ve never had to urge to hit anybody, or be hit, since.