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Chin down, hands up. Headgear borrowed from the gym smells terrible. Push off the balls of your feet. High ponytails get in the way of jumping rope (learn to French braid). Take your wedding ring off before going at the heavy bag. And don't say "sorry" in the ring (Rodney will make you do push-ups).
I've learned an enormous amount at The Ring since January, as I've prepared for my three rounds at the House of Blues on May 16. Despite all of the training, I'll be honest: I am terrified. I still get butterflies in my stomach as I take the Green Line on the way to a class, and I am incredibly nervous each time I slip between the ropes to spar, so needless to say I'm scared as hell for the big fight. No matter how many punishing jabs I take from Coach Jen because I dropped my hands, I feel like I'll never be ready to square off in front of 1800 people in a few short weeks.
But I persevere, inspired by the mission of Haymakers for Hope. My firm does pro bono work for patients of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and I've been fortunate to learn first-hand that they are brave, admirable people. One of my clients from Dana-Farber is now facing weeks to live, but last we spoke, she showed me photos of her kids and told me she felt blessed and happy. Her courage knows no bounds. My heart goes out to her kids, who are trying to prepare for life without their mom. I fight for them, and for those husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sister, brothers, friends and family who have had to shoulder the grief of planning a funeral, composing a eulogy and cleaning a room of memories after losing someone they love to cancer. What they do is so tough and so titanic, I'm delighted to get punched in the face for six minutes if it means Dana-Farber does more research, saves more lives, and prevents one more family from writing an obituary.
My thanks to the extraordinary folks at The Ring, especially Rodney and Coach Jen, Jeff, Tommy, Owen and Christina, who show infinite patience as I pester them. And my thanks to you for your donation. If I throw up the night of the fight, I hope you'll all give double!