Call Me a Pacifist, But…

Despite a 20-year career in the Air Force, I find at this stage of my life I loathe violence.  It could be because I have been to war myself (Vietnam).  It could be that there is just too much violence in our culture, from fiction (TV and movies) to fact ( the nightly news).  Or it could be because I got a D in boxing.

My college was a service academy (the U.S. Air Force Academy).  Yes, the first year was especially difficult. That even extended to PE, when we had to take courses such sports as boxing, wrestling, judo and gymnastics. Things did get easier later, with sports like golf, tennis and badminton (although badminton can be surprisingly difficult if it’s played right).

In boxing, we had to fight our classmates in three bouts, each being three one-minute rounds.   Much to my embarrassment, I discovered I had a glass nose.  I guess it shouldn’t have been a great surprise; I had more than my share of nosebleeds during my formative years.  But this was more serious — one hit and my nose started bleeding. You could see every step I’d taken in the ring from the trail of blood.  It got so frustrating that at the beginning of the third match, I put my gloves together about chin high and stuck my nose out over top of them, with an implied invitation to “hit it and get it over with.”  Ultimately, I felt lucky to have survived.

But I got a B in wrestling!  I have no idea how, but I did.




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