Boom. It's the word that escapes my lips when something feels right. It's also the noise that reverberates through my skull after getting punched in the face. And doubtlessly for both reasons, it's the sound that I associate with my boxing.
I remember the moment that I knew I had to participate in Haymakers for Hope. I had just met Andrew. That morning, over a shared plate of sweet potato fritters, I had heard all about a once-and-future boxing event in Boston and listened to inquiries as to whether I knew anyone who might want to participate this year. On the way home I stopped and grabbed a book about Ali v. Frasier III, the Thrilla in Manila. Within five pages, I was in. I was going to do this for myself. To show myself that I'm tough. To reprove myself as an athlete*. And of course, to chase the prospect of getting abs like Marky Mark circa Calvin Klein underwear ad**. Let's do it, I thought. And so I began my training.
But then when did it happen? During five miles of roadwork? A twenty minute session on the speedbag? While getting slapped around during mitts? Or maybe during one of the many rounds of sparring? At those points and more, my boxing training became much bigger.
It became about earning the respect of Jeff and Dan, the two best and most indefatigable trainers out there. About needing ten more reps no matter how many I've already done.
It became about Sunday night dinner and boxing movies with my roommate and my cousin. About throwing jabs into the air after watching Million-Dollar Baby and The Fighter.
It became about connecting with my family during our weekly phone calls. About learning the 'power of the left fist', a euphemism my dad uses for the knockout he dealt out during his college boxing days.
It became about exploring the history of my distant cousin Primo Carnera, the Heavyweight Champion of the World in 1933 and the only Italian to ever hold the belt. Not just translating, but really feeling "Mens sana in corpore sano."***
And most importantly, it became more and more about supporting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund to fund research so that all cancer patients can have as positive of a prognosis as my friend Tom who, diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease this past year, hopes to be cancer free by our 5th Reunion at Princeton in May.
I invite you to support me either through donations or ticket sales and join me on this journey that I've undertaken. I'll get hit in the face. And we'll both know that we're doing something that just feels so right. Boom.
*- Being an over-the-hill college athlete becomes a cruel joke the second time you need to buy pants with a bigger waist.
** - Let's be honest, who hasn't thought about this?
*** -The Latin phrase above the gym at his home in Sequals. It means "Healthy mind in healthy body."
To catch up on Luke's progress check out his training album on Facebook!
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