Tag Archives: healing

19 Years ago today

19 years on …

The World Trade Center was my point of reference from the first time I spied the towers in the fog looking south on Sullivan at the corner of Bleecker in Greenwich Village.  I was with my father, with whom I used to roam the City on our occasional Sunday’s together. The towers had been on our radar all through its construction. We’d pass by the towers first as a hole in the ground and then as partially constructed buildings as we peered up from under the old West Side Highway on one of our jaunts through the docks on our way to Battery Park.

That night, with the windows illuminated in shrouded light felt magical and has been a point in time I have always treasured.

When I gaze on the City now, I feel the holes in the sky as a huge ache in my heart.

It happens whether I am looking across from the vantage point of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade or most recently from the vantage point of the Rockaway Ferry looking across towards Manhattan just past the Marine Park Bridge.

Our nation, our citizenry, our sense of who we are as a people have undergone many, many transformations since the ill-fated morning of September 11, 2001. Some have been for the good, but much, as now, has been fraught with conflict, fear, dislocation, and the kind of damage that can take generations, if ever, to heal.

I can only offer my fervent hope that we will persevere to better days.

Playing hurt

Playing hurt

Injuries are never fun.  There’s the moment of insult to your body, then coping with the physical pain on top of the emotional component that seeps in whether you want it to or not.  Let’s face it, most injuries ache, may well be serious, and can mean the end of a dream or at the very least a postponement.

Boxers have an interesting relationship with pain.  Getting hit can hurt!  It is shocking, jarring and can literary knock a boxer senseless.  For the most part, with good training and practice, the hurts don’t really hurt per se – especially at the level of sparring in the gym.  Sure, the hits can be hard, but with protective gear on, there is some modicum of safety.  More to the point, it’s the place where a boxer will work out his or her own relationship to pain.  To what pain means and to how cope with it, and to learn to differentiate between how the body absorbs a blow and where it creeps over the line to injury.

For women boxers the issue of playing-through-pain can take on other components.  Our relationship to pain is complex, after all, we go through the whole labor and delivery thing and that is no picnic.  Getting body-checked in the ring though can be no joke and one has to be “ready” for it on the one hand as part of the game of boxing, and on the other be prepared for the emotions of “getting hit.”   Many of us also have to work through, decades of mental conditioning on the subject of hitting, getting hit, our “delicate” dispositions, and unfortunately, a legacy of abuse of one kind or another.   This last can be a complex intrusion into the workout that’ll cause many a boxer to breakdown into a puddle of tears for no seeming reason long before an actual “hit” would ever fell a boxer physically or mentally.

In the end, boxers contend with all sorts of injuries all the time.  The usual suspects included pulled muscles, sprained ankles, concussions, broken noses and cut eyebrows.   The injuries we don’t see are the very old hurts they may have compelled us into the gym in the first place.  Those are the harder ones to acknowledge and heal, but eventually, if a boxer sticks with it, those aches get worked out too through a mixture of stamina, determination, grit and a lot of humor.