I took my shower and my obligatory hangover shit, grabbed my gear and sped away to the mall. It was really a nice day out. I met the guys I would be getting pummelled by, and we went over the basic rules (no rabbit punches, nothing below the belt) I guess since I was the new guy, I got matched up against the one that the other two were afraid to box. Considering he boxes in amature leagues, I feel I did pretty damn well against him. We were very evenly matched except for in one area: He hit much harder than me. I felt like I was getting hit by a train every time he landed something (which was honestly only about three solid times... but thats how these matches go.) He seemed no less worse for wear by my hits on him save one that forced him to stop for a bit.

I went two five minute rounds with him. Now, if you've never boxed a round, imagine sprinting as hard as you can, and then pump adreneline through every vein of your body because you're sprinting away from someone that if they catch you, they're gonna knock your ass down. Thats boxing, it's simply that taxing (I'm well aware that it doesn't really look it, it looks like two guys stepping around eachother at a fairly metered pace)

Concentrating on the second round, I had his rhythm down. First, a ducking jab to my stomache. When I retreated, he would attack with wild hooks. This in mind, I began to hold my ground and sidestep a bit to jab him in the eye. His face began to puff, and I could see I had given him a black eye (or he would have one soon enough.) Naturally however, this frustrated him thoroughly. We had a conversation about that later, that to really be good, you must keep your composure when you take a hit. At any rate, after about four entanglements with me, him not producing anything but more frustration, he lost it. I nailed him once, and he charged me hard. Lesson learned: if you figure out how to counter someone's rhythm you need to immediately begin figuring out a new way to counter, as they have just as long to counter yours. Before I could sufficiently get my guard back up, he was throwing wild hooks. I tried to hold my ground and set myself up for a jab to counter, but failed to bob my head. Then came the solid hit.

It was odd, how time slowed down on that hit. I saw what was happening before it happened, but I was too cocerned with what his power right was doing. Had he hit me with that, I would have gone down for the proverbial count. He connected, the cleanest, hardest hit I've ever had. My head turned to the left very quickly, guided by my jaw my head snapped to the left. Immediately my head snapped back to its original position. I'll never forget the sound that my own upper spine made. Like something out of a movie, I heard every vertebrate snap within the span of less than a tenth of a second. It sounded similar to velcro. I was reeling, but I managed to throw a cross left (I was boxing southpaw) and grabbed him right on the bridge of the nose. This backed him off real quick, and we each complimented eachother's hits. Mine definately suprised him, and his was the hardest hit I had ever taken.

We stood there staring at each other for about a minute, tried to put up for one more scrim, and then gave up. Amazingly, my jaw didn't really ache. My head hurt, but my jaw refused to ache. We rejoined the other two boxers on the side of the field (there are some concrete steps that we hung out on) and they began reviewing our fight for us. Apparently it was the most technical they had ever seen a pair box (well, aside from TV.) They complimented my immediate improvement of my retreating situation, and I accepted it. I knew I had done well. Then they started talking about how well Andrew had done, but my mind had wandered. I found myself staring at the ground wondering when I was going to puke. True story. I wasn't too frightened at this point, because I was sitting right near one of their other friend's vomit-piles from the night before, so apparently it would have been socially acceptable. But then my eyes started to darken. It felt suddenly that I had a thin veil of black lace pulled over my eyes. This frightened me. I knew it was the one hit (even if it hadn't affected me immediately.)

A note about me (however gruesome:) I inherited this from my good ol'Dad. When I get upset, my intestines act up. I dunno what it is, but they like to rebel on me. Easiest way to get me to need to shit, is upset me. I hate it, I really do. Naturally I had to find a bathroom pretty quick. Not only would it serve to relieve me, but it would be a much more civilized place to puke. I got up and began to saunter towards the dorms (Whichever one is next door to Villa Del Puente.) They asked where I was going, (as they knew that I needed to puke, and was wondering why I didn't in the bushes) which is when I told them about the hangover. I think they were impressed. I found two random guys coming away from the dorm, and I asked them to let me in. As soon as one turned around to walk me back to the dorm, the lace grew thicker. I was about three breaths away from absolutely passing out. Somehow I felt my way to the bathroom, and everything got better. It was really pretty anti-climactic. Don't get me wrong I'm very glad it was, but for the purpose of this story it sort of sucks.

Immediately feeling better I ran back to our makeshift ring, and commented how that was my last bout for the day, and I would never box with a hangover again. They absolutely understood. Everyone has been there, thats the nice thing about a sport like boxing: if you beat the shit out of someone they still get your respect because you know damn well that you'll be there next week.