It is the key to the ignition that propels us forward and fuels our ambition to advance. But if you've never been behind its wheel, you would need to proceed with caution, for if you don't know where you're going while being "driven" by where you've been, it can lead you into a state of mind called ["CrAzY"].
*** *** *** *** *** ***
When last I detoured off the road of Heather Hardy (for the original article click here), she was racing toward a UBF International Super Bantamweight title fight against Ana Laura Gomez on 11/9/2013. She wrecked her in 2 rounds.
Fast >>>Forward to 2014.
A few weeks ago she ran into Christina Fuentes at the Roseland Ballroom here in New York City, getting a suspenseful and intense SD win after 8 rounds. Christina proved to be a pretty difficult roadblock to get around, but "The Heat" turned it up and prevailed.
Not everyone it turns out was impressed, and in her rear-view mirror were sirens. Besides, what good is any good sequel without a good villain?
"She's been running her f*cking mouth and talking sh*t, but I'll fight her ass anytime she's ready," fired 2-time badass Hardy, referring to the loud noise coming from fighter Shelly Vincent.
"Lou [DiBella] has tried to contact her and her people about a fight for the longest time. I would love the chance to beat her ass."
You uh, you heard that Shelly?
*** *** *** *** *** ***
On this particular Monday morning, its rather "brick" outside for early March. "Brick" is an expression we northerners use to describe disgustingly cold weather. I arrive at the legendary Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn and caught a glimpse of Heather throwing a few at trainer Devon Cormack.
To hear him tell it, she couldn't do anything right, I even think he had a problem with the way she was breathing.
"C'mon, I need you to step into the punch!" demanded Cormack. "You don't want to be moving that way, when you're trying to throw this way."
It is with a practiced persistence that they engage with, and Heather knows all too well how big subtlety is in the game of Boxing. At 32, she's only been doing it for 4 years, which is extraordinary.
This is a sport that the average "guy" should never be getting into at 28, let alone a woman who has the full responsibility of motherhood, as she demonstrated by being in the gym after taking her daughter to school. Something she does everyday.
Entering this her 9th pro fight, she'll be facing a stiffer foe with real championship pedigree. In fact, this "opponent" is looking to use Heather as a means of staying busy while not putting her title on the line.
Already around fight weight with a few weeks to go, Heather knows how important this fight is.
"I'm just going to be prepared to win, whether if it was her or Ronda Rousey, I'm ready to win on the 21st," said Hardy, in a face more "poser" than poker.
She's exceedingly emotional, and wears her heart at the edge of her fist. I could see scar tissue when I looked at her. Not on her face or around her eyes - but deep within them.
The pain that she has seen and experienced, somehow produces this recognition her body language and general way communicates; for it made me nod my head in understanding - because I could literally see what she was saying.
You almost get the sense that she feels as if she's on borrowed time that owes her a favor, with "payback is a bitch" type motivation.
In actuality, studying Heather on tape before, during and after fights, produced what I thought was a fascinating similarity. On this day, she wore an authentic "Manny Pacquiao" hoodie, which is who she happens to remind me of in spirit.
In possession of great thematic apperception in relation to what she does to survive, Heather can summon the will to endure the preparation and actual moment of combat in a rare way.
She can subvert an opponent - a much more talented one - and take them back to a place of doubt. She does not reside in fear and is therefore disconnected to hate. It allows her to love what she does and the pursuit of a result.
Even though she didn't know what she was chasing when I asked her, I think I know where she's driving to. Her destination- is glory.
Did I mention she doesn't even have a Driver's License?
See Heather fight at the Aviation Sports Complex in Brooklyn on Friday, March 21st, @7pm. Tickets are $45, $65, or $125. Contact Gleason's Gym @718-797-2872 and pick them up there, or via e-mail [heatherhardyboxing.com]