I have wanted to do boxing since 2016. I am a very health conscious person so I always go to the gym and I also started cooking my own food around November last year. Come January, my best friend introduced me to this boxing gym along C.P. Garcia near Eastwood City. It felt really good so I enrolled as a member and got myself a coach, Daren. He was a former boxer but he is very young. He was only twenty four years old last January and he said he stopped going in the ring for a while because he wanted to teach.

I committed myself to going at least once a week, and at first that was really an effort because my body ached for almost a week after every session. Eventually by March, my body got used to the rigorous training. We would normally start out with stretching, jumping rope then three rounds of boxing, three rounds of speed bag, three rounds of double-end bag, and then we do another three rounds of boxing again. It doesn’t stop at that, my coach asks me to lift weights, do ladder exercise and sometime plyometrics and then some abdominal exercises and finally the final set of stretches. It is very rigorous so it really trains the body to be strong. I only box to sweat and it has become an outlet to relieve stress. I can only imagine how rigorous the training of boxers is when one trains to fight. So last week, into six months of training with my coach, I wanted to treat him and it was also to celebrate his birthday.

We ate at a fast food restaurant and I gave him my rice because I do not want to waste mine and I wanted to really make him full on his birthday. As we were eating our food, he opened up about being a boxer. He told me that he is thinking of focusing on teaching now and he does not want to go back to being a boxer anymore. Inevitably I was curious on the reason why such a young lad, with no recorded losses would want to quit his craft at such a young age. So he told me his story. He is from a fishing village down south and he had experienced hardships along the like everybody else. So he decided to try boxing and he was actually good at it. His trainer was very strict and his schedule was tightly monitored. He had to sleep early at night and wake up early in the morning as well to start training. Even his food intake was being monitored closely. Honestly I did not expect less from athletes who would eventually represent the Philippines. So what made him quit? It was his manager. He said that his manager wanted only to make him a sparring partner for those who are stronger than him. He would train all day and everyday just to give another athlete a good practice and he really felt that it was unfair for him. Another reason that he wants to quit is because he felt more freedom as a trainer rather than as the trainee. At the end of our conversation I felt bad for my coach.

I do empathize with what my coach feels and think. I agree that it is unfair that he only gets to fight once a year. Perhaps I have not heard the side of his manager but sometimes I feel like people who are opportunists exist in the world and they feed on the dreams, ambitions, and aspirations of the innocents. These innocents then get exploited and lose hope.

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