This post is inspired by the prompt word in The Daily Post – VOICE
It is a different reality in the ring. He enters the space with a heavy load. He has many different roles to fulfil in the real world. He bears the weight of being a husband, a father, a supervisor, a friend, and a son by day. In short – Dallas bears the weight of being a man. Pressure and inadequacy silently strike at his core by day, as he burns through the demands and expectations of routine. The incessant voices of reason, need, frustration and negativity scream at him from every direction. His manhood is tested a million times a day.
But as soon as his bare feet touch the surface of the ring, the load is lifted. He dips his head and takes a deep breath, centring himself. This is the place where he can escape into who he really is. The masks of the day are abandoned. Now he stands, bare-chested, wearing only shorts and the wraps upon his hands. He is accepted here. It is a small congregation of men, each equipped with their own inner resources, each burdened with their own responsibilities, but all seeking to better themselves.
The light seems to dim, as the flurried, scorching pace of the day is radically decreased. Now time moves in slow motion. Dallas flexes his neck, his toes, his arms, and shakes his body loose. He becomes fully conscious of his physical being. His heart begins to pump with adrenalin, strangely in time to the beat of the slow moving world he has arrived in. He feels the very atmosphere resound in him. With each heart-beat, and each breath, he remembers his values, and focuses his mind on the task ahead. Dallas puts the stress of the day, and all the relentless frustrations in his world, to the back of his mind. He cracks his neck and wills his body to loosen further. He invites oxygen in.
He slowly raises his head and meets the eye of the man on the other side of the ring. The man is short, yet lithe and muscular, with a line of tattoos up his right arm that filter up to his neck. Dallas judges his appearance in an instant, and determines that they are physically matched. He then takes a moment to study the man’s warm up technique, as he stretches and flexes his body.
Dallas walks forward a few paces to the centre of the ring. Face to face with his opponent, he drinks in the other. The man is a stranger. And yet Dallas sees himself reflected in the man standing before him. Though he respects him, he feels a surge of hunger to destroy him. Blood courses through his body. Every muscle is peaked in readiness.
The call is made. Instantaneously Dallas becomes himself. He is strong, focused and fuelled. His body tightens and loosens to deflect, evade, and attack. His mind is entirely focused on studying the foreign body before him. His own body responds to the sudden burst of mental agility. His technique is at first evasive, as he internally surveys his opponent’s weaknesses. His opponent is a worthy one and provides a good challenge. But it doesn’t take Dallas long to discover that slight weakness in his form. Still, he chooses to focus on defence in the first round. He is in control. He can choose his method. The ring is the only place where he can exercise such choice, and become a master of cause and effect.
It is in the second round that Dallas begins to reveal his true strengths. His method shifts to attack. But it is only in the third that his power comes blazing to the fore. In the third round he could be mistaken for a primal, yet controlled machine. By the third round he has completed his assessment. He has perceived what he needed to perceive. He has established his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, and can now freely play upon them.
Time is reduced to vapour in the third round. The only sound is the beat of adrenalin, and the smack of flesh upon flesh. Rivulets of sweat pour off every surface of his body. They pool on his skin and then flick into the ether with each reflexive movement. His eyes narrow and assume the brightest colour they ever will. He sees everything before him with supreme clarity.
All the stress and emotion that had flooded him by day, is stripped from his being with every jab. Every seething black sore, every failure, every single iota of inadequacy, is utilised and driven into each kick. For every hit of pain Dallas takes, he feels the sharp sting of his own accountability. He welcomes the blows of guilt, loneliness and grief. He likes the sound they make on his skin. He feeds off the marks they leave. He devours the motivation they give him to attack with renewed force.
As he sees, hears and feels his knuckles connect with the ribs of the stranger, he imagines that he is striking at everything that he hates within himself. The physical act of the fight is a mirror of his internal world. His body voices the struggle within. With strict adherence to the code of respect, Dallas systematically destroys his opponent in under two minutes. The victory is not solely against the man before him; it is a victory over pressure, insecurity and disillusionment.
He can now freely mingle with his kinsman. The fight is over. But they are linked in the bondage of life. They have come together with a common aim … to use their bodies to voice the most honest version of themselves possible.
photo sourced from pinterest