It was the pain. It consumed his every thought and could feel it reverberate down his spine and into his toes. It started off as a dull aching in his shoulder but by midday it turned into an avalanche of misery and he wasn’t sure what to do. Bomani was used to pain and could accept the unfortunate reality that life is pain, but it was 5 minutes before his big fight and it was too late to back out now. Or was it?
Bomani sat down in the locker room, hands trembling, teeth chattering, and brain exploding with the idea of what was to come in 5 minutes. He’d been through this process many times before, but with each passing fight his anxiety would rise further to unimaginable levels where he could barely move, barely breathe, barely exist. And yet somehow, he was supposed to transform into an unstoppable force of nature in the next 5 minutes, a force capable of brutalizing any man put in front of him. He was somehow supposed to become the essence of what he always stood against, what he hated: terror. In order for his gym to survive, his family to survive, he had to summon the terror from the great abyss of his being and take his first step towards the war ahead.
4 minutes to his fight and Bomani was still trembling on the floor, desperately looking for an exit, a way out. He had fought through injuries before, but as time passed nagging injuries became devastating and crippling and he much felt like a rag doll pieced together one limb at a time. But this rag doll was on its last leg and he could feel himself falling apart. He wanted nothing more than to curl up into a ball and somehow disappear. Forget the 8-week training camp, the 20-pound weight cut, and all the sacrifices he made to get to this point. And forget the fact that Bomani was a national champion martial artist who trained with the likes of Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, and Jerem