Last weekend two professional female fighters flew halfway round the world to Melbourne then belted the custard out of each other. Frankly, I can think of better ways to spend my holidays.
Afterwards I asked my mate, who is no stranger to legalised violence, what it’s like to step into a ring and punch into a complete stranger. “I try not to think about it,” he said, then added, “but to be honest, it’s actually pretty terrifying.”
He shrugged, “Mind you, I don’t enjoy smacking into people and trust me, getting hit back isn’t a lot of fun either.”
“So why do you fight?”
He looked genuinely surprised, “Dunno? Mostly to test my skills, but it doesn’t hurt to get out of the old comfort zone occasionally.”
Noting his broken nose I asked, “Surely there are better ways to challenge yourself?!”
“Probably, but competitive fighting’s been good for me. It’s given me confidence, kept me fit and taught me self-control, which has kept me out of heaps of trouble.”
“But how do you fight someone who hasn’t upset you?”
“Well, I do get a little bit emotional when they start hitting me!” he replied, “Sure, he’s frightened too, but that won’t stop him from trying to knock me into next week.”
I shook my head, “Sooner you than me pal.”
He laughed and prodded my flabby stomach, “Well, it wouldn’t hurt you to get out of your comfort zone mate, because the scariest fighter we all have to face is Old Age. None of us will beat that mongrel, but if you put in a bit of effort you might delay the day you wind up in a hospital bed eating custard through a tube.”
We both agreed that would be a terrible way to spend the weekend.