On Becoming a Better Man, Human, and Father

The quiet skinny kid wants to get hit!

T

Well, I am obviously still that skinny kid. Lanky and long.

I was the oldest of the youngest kids that have been raised here in the U.S. My older brother and sister were reared in Mexico.

Growing up I had to be self-motivated to excel in school. My parents couldn’t speak English, so I couldn’t ask them for help with my homework.

Thankfully, I had an awesome teacher in first grade that had the patience to teach me the difference between red and blue. I still remember her stopping her lecture to ask me to identify the mystical color: blue. I would name every color on the color wheel except the mystical blue.

Being the oldest brother, I was responsible for many things. Most important of all was to babysit the other 3 and also try to teach them whatever I was learning.

I had to be the calm one. The one in control of the situation. I could not lose my cool. There were a couple of instances where I did lose control and afterward promised to never allow it to happen again.

For the most part I have maintained that control. It is not something where I want to control a situation, but rather, I control myself. I think this has served me tremendously throughout my life.

There so many times when I simply want to get up and tell someone where to shove it! I want to unload on someone for being a lying sack of crap. Or just fight someone because they were jerks and needed to have a wakeup call.

I have the same anger boiling inside me that lives inside my father. But I keep it under control.

Channeling my anger/ aggression

Playing sports has been my only outlet for this energy. My father never allowed me to play any sports in school.

But I did play in the rough neighborhood games. Some of my proudest memories as a child were of me playing football. If you think I am skinny now, you should have seen me then.

I loved to hit and get hit. I had pretty good hands and could catch almost anything thrown in my direction. Being that I am skinny, I imagine I must have had a huge target on my back, because everyone would lay my ass out.

But here was the part I loved most after getting hit, GETTING UP!

I began to develop a reputation in the neighborhood, and still remember some of friends screaming,” He’ll be ok, give him a minute!” (Jon Jon I still see you standing over me waiting for me to get up)

These days I play basketball which can get pretty damn intense and aggressive in a hurry. Once again, people to not like a skinny kid making them look bad. And truthfully, I am one of those annoying players that will get under your skin.

In retaliation they will typically put their shoulder down and blast through me a couple of times. I guess it is their reminder of who the bigger fish is on the court. But regardless I get back in the game once I catch my breath (and sometimes that takes a while).

Boxing

So now I have discovered boxing. I began to take lessons a few weeks ago and love it.

This is my opportunity to finally let go. This is where I can get hit and hit back. This is where I get to unload my aggression. My anger. My frustrations.

I know I can take a hit, but I do not know if my face can. My trainer says I should be sparring in about a month. At that time, I will find out how easily I cut and how easily I recover.

Although I am confident, I am ready for it, I am not absolutely sure my face will be. Or my ribs. Or my kidney.

However, I wonder if they are ready for me. I wonder. I truly hope I don’t get carried away and unload on anyone when we are just sparring. I may just get knocked out in my first session. That may hinder my dancing… oh oh.

By Teevee Aguirre
On Becoming a Better Man, Human, and Father