I don’t even remember the punch coming.
I still remember the impact and my head moving.
My head returned to the same position but my nose stayed 1 cm to the right.
The rest of the round is a blur. And the next round, and the next.
I do remember afterwards looking down at the blood on my shorts. It seemed there was more blood than shorts.

Months later, I stepped into the ring and won.
One of those times when everything went right. Lesson learned. Thank you very much.
The person who delivered the punch was Gary. A semi professional boxer in the UK, he had once sparred Frank Bruno. He knew that to perform well in competition you must make your training harder.

The last time I saw him was when I visited him in jail. He greeted me like I was the only one who had visited him.
I’m sure I wasn’t, as his wife must have visited regularly. Maybe his kids too.
But on that day I was his only visitor. Firm friends before and after the big punch.

Decades can pass but some images don’t dim. Blood all over my shorts and his smiling face during visiting hours.

Sitting here, writing about the experience, other details – long forgotten – come back.
Gary was a heavyweight. After him was a welterweight who was much faster than me. Blood still all over my shorts, I had to find a way to survive being hit for another round. I had to learn to be effective. I had to adapt as this opponent was fresh and very different from my last.

The Lesson Is In The Details
My lesson that day (apart from never to trust Gary again) was to be effective.
Don’t run away.
Achieve a result.
Disregard whatever I have done before, use it if it was useful, but to be effective this time around. Just because something has served me in the past doesn’t mean it will serve me now.

Sometimes to embrace the future we have to let go of the past.
Letting go of what happened to us.
Much easier when your nose is closer to your cheek than the middle of your face.
Nonetheless, it’s true.

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