We’re not talking about straps and switches and crops here. With an implement, I can easily hold my own. But I have recently discovered that I love to be punched. My first reaction to any enjoyable new stimulus tends to be “ooh, I want to do this to somebody else.”
Which brings us to my problem. I talk a good talk. I wind on my black hand wraps nice and snug. But come show time, I can’t make myself put much force behind my fists. I pull my punches. I hit like a girl.
I don’t like this. Punching is amazing. The direct connection, the thud of fist on flesh and the reverberation that works its way all the way up my arm, all of it is just my kind of delicious. Yet still I hold back. Part of this is physical weakness. My workout routine consists of running and a few light sets on the bench press, nothing more. I know sustained heavy punching is beyond my abilities, while a series of sets of medium blows interspersed with lighter flurries is manageable.
But that’s not the main issue. The hard part is that hitting someone, really hitting hard with nothing but a few layers of fabric to absorb the blow, is terrifying for all the same reasons that it’s so tempting. A solid punch connects too well, is too personal and vicious. There’s something in the back of my head saying “Hands are not for hitting!” in my third-grade teacher’s voice. There’s a part of me that wants to be nice, even through the predatory urge to hit, and it unravels me. I don’t know yet how to ignore it, but I plan to learn.
On a related note, maybe it’s time to look into a boxing class.