The boxer and the ballerina

Enter the arena, hood held over your eyes, head down, fists ups. Shoulders moving, shuffling through to the ring, feel the music cloak you.  Feel the orchestra strings intense and then glide in to the scene with running steps from the side stage, back straight, shoulders back, your arms waving by your sides like the wings of a swan.

This is the moment. The moment the finely tuned body has built up to. All those hours of training, the early mornings, all that sacrifice, the tears, the blood and all the aches, to be in this place right here, right now. The bell rings, the orchestra strings draw to life, out of the your corner you skip, from behind the curtains you glide. This is what you live for. This is your passion, you are stoked, now do it. Do everything that comes to you, everything you have learned and sweat for, let it take you over, let that energy flow through your veins and out your pores so the audience can feel it too - that is why they are here.

In the ring, on the stage, on your toes, on your toes. Always like that, it is the first thing. the first lesson, all those years and hours in a studio, in a gym. Your legs like foundations to a marvelous structure that you have created, your balance is imperative. A pivot and a shuffle, a croisé and a plié. Your muscles are toned and steely, but the most important muscle of all is what drives you: your heart. With it you would not be here, you would not endure the broken noses and the broken toes to do what you do, your heart rewards you, give it back the satisfaction it deserves.

Now you are fluid, your oiled engine is working its pistons. Your fists in handwraps inside ten ounces of padding, working the jab, again and again, keep it working, jab, jab, cross, keep moving on your toes. On those taped toes enclosed in to the box of your satin pointe shoes, ribbons crossed over seasoned, sturdy ankles in a grand jeté. Measured steps explore space and then come together and entangle in force and agility, un pas de deux, a dance for two. Swooping, flowing, nifty and stylish, your movements are brushstrokes, the opera house stage and the arena roped ring are the framed canvas in your art.

A side step, and a roll, up and under. The crowd on the edge of their seats, the audience in awe, as the perfect combination and timing of a jab, right cross and left hook rain in, as you spin a double tour, double fouéttes en tournant in your adagio of slow, soft lyrical movements. Bob and weave, unleash an uppercut, an allegro jumping step and sequence into a pirouette. Tight and peak with twists and turns, you are wisp and dynamic. Push the boundaries with unwavered will.

On your toes, stay on your toes. Don't let your guard down, don't let your frame drop.

Whatever happens in the ring, however long your are on the stage, feel every moment, live what you do. Let its music play in you. Nobody can take that from you, too much has been dedicated to your discipline. Two ends of a spectrum but you meet in the middle where there is grit and there is grace. Both the boxer and the ballerina.


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