2 Months in Moments…

the photos and thoughts before, during, & after a professional boxing debut


Every morning starts the same…
…the rhythm building belief…
…like a morning prayer…
…giving you strength…
…in an endless chase…
…that always leaves you wondering.

Every night starts the same…
…logging another day…
…setting goals for another step…
…tracking losses and gains…
…getting to know yourself inside and out…
…before loosening up and leaving behind the day.

Then it’s time to tighten and tune…
…wrapping every knuckle…
…so you can try to beat your true opponent…
…and prove to him…
…that you’re ready.

But you’re not the only one…
…as you get ready…
…so does he…
…both waiting for the round and your moment…
…ready to react to shouted critiques…
…he sees what you can’t as your eyes close again…
…and then tells…
…and shows…
…and then it’s time again to try…
…there’s others too…
…but really there’s only two…
…and then there’s none and it’s over.

Over until the mitts…
…and the staccato shouts…
…for rights…
…for body shots…
…and footwork…
…before it hits the final note.

You’re not finished though…
…until the bag becomes a body…
…not just any body.

Finally it’s time to cool down…
…to speed through the final rounds…
…it’s not all over though…
…he wants more…
…wants you to feel it, with every layer…
…all for one day…
…he wants to know you’re ready…
…he hopes.

And then the training is over…
…you’re on your way…
…but not before a final stop…
…in search of confidence as you talk through the plan…
…and in search of peace.

Before it becomes a day unlike any other…
…you see your name…
…and feel the ring for the first time…
…see everything for the first time…
…face everything for the first time.

And then it begins…
…weighing in the final moments…
…entering your own space…
…you’re prepared…
…and waiting…
…wondering…
…it’s no longer you, but your team…
…with layers of support.

Now you’re ready…
…confident…
…receiving confirmation…
…changing…
…in a moment that almost feels religious…
…but is just the routine…
…and then you’re gone.

Stepping through…
…to someplace and someone you’ve never been before…
…meeting for the first time…
As every breath stops
…and the shouting starts…
…with the first punch making you stop and ask “Why?”…
…before training and instinct take over…
…and some of the basics are forgotten…
…and somehow you make it through…
…to Round 2.
…with a newly realized confidence…
…that you can stand your ground…
…even push back and take it…
…no matter the rules…
…with the feelings going beyond the bell…
…you’ve forgotten yourself, but he hasn’t…
…and neither has he…
…nor will he…
…if you have your way.
…but you don’t…
…according to them…
…you see things different…
…you’re coming down…
…and are trying to explain why you won…
…and being told how you could have…
…it’s not all hard…
…you’re surrounded…
…supported by hands all around…
…and the person you’ve come to trust the most…
…but really you’re alone.
…and then you really are.
Then it’s all over…
…all the work…
…the two months…
…and you’re human again…
…back to friends…
…back to Mayu.
…for a moment…
…until the next.


Photos by: Gueorgui Tcherednitchenko (his favorite shots and photo narrative from the training and fight can be seen on his website)