Today I sparred for the first time. It wasn’t as violent as I thought it would be. Love taps. But still there’s something about getting smacked in the nose that wakes you up. I wonder why when people fight, there’s an instinct to hit someone in the head. It’s an inherent knowledge that that’s the best way to fuck someone up. I got a few good hits in. Maybe he gave me those few. I threw a few hooks. Twist at the hip. Flex your ass cheek. I’m getting better and stronger. There were moments when you get in the zone. You just move right. You block all the hits. You twist and you send a few back. He’s this Russian guy named Zeez, and by round 2, he came at me with more force. A shot in my stomach took the breath out of me. But all those crunches are paying off. I bounced back. I think life is all about bouncing back.

At my gym, there’s a lot of characters. Dean has this thick accent. Whenever he advises me, he says that’s bet-ah. There’s David who gives me a lot of shit. After a few hundred crunches, he saw me smack my own stomach, hard. I did it to tell myself I can take more pain. He doesn’t hand out compliments, but he gave me one then. Every day, I’m drenched in sweat and it’s the only time I feel at peace lately. I leave the gym after I shower, and I don’t feel afraid anymore. Jerome, Elias, and Eli are regulars and I’m slowly gaining respect. I can feel it as they bump gloves with me now.

I’m not backing down lately. There was a confrontation yesterday. If you have something to say, just say it. We’re both adults. I can’t read your mind. If you want something from me, let’s put it out there because that’s the only way we’ll feel better. I said all this shit. Unrealistic expectations. I thought about myself and how I treated people back then. That’s some weakass shit. Help yourself, and people will help you more.

I don’t regret standing up for myself especially after he called me out in front of everyone What is this really about? It’s important to figure that out with people… I won that round, and I’m a pacifist. I don’t go looking for fights but he wanted to make an example out of me.

Ask a girl out in person. Get in the ring and spar. Tell my boss I want more responsibilities and that I’ll create an event. Everything I set out to do this month, I fucking did it with a day to spare. I feel hollow, but I’m becoming someone I want to become. I have a long way to go. The truth is I’m afraid to leave, even though I know it’s the right path for me. Get back to school. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of a lot of things.