Hey there writers! We’re excited to announce that starting this week, we’ll be publishing a monthly online exclusive based upon a theme. Our first piece is “Hand Wraps” by Dane Swan, and you can read it below.
Interested in submitting? Next month’s theme is “The Town and the City.” The chosen story will receive a $40 honorarium, a one-year subscription to Broken Pencil and permanent infamy on the web. Word length is up to 2,000 (although shorter is better.) You can go here to submit (select “Online Exclusive” as the option.) Deadline is July 31, 2015. Good luck!
All these people in this gym. You would think that they would know the basics. Whether it’s the boxercisers, or the fresh meat amateurs, when it’s my time to teach them, I ask them to show me everything.
“Let me see your jab!
Let me see your cross!
Keep your guard up!
You! You just got hit with a hook ’cause your guard is garbage!
If you punch like that you’ll break your wrists!
Snap those jabs!
And that’s before we put the wraps on. If I don’t know a face I pull them aside. Ask them to show me how they wrap their hands. We sit face-to-face. The ladies here for fitness classes always get it wrong. I take their hands into mine. Slowly unwrap there hands and explain, “Wrapping your knuckles might stop your knuckle from being scratched by the glove, but it doesn’t protect you. We wrap our hands to protect them.”
After unwrapping their mess I explain, “First, we wrap the wrist to protect the wrist.” After pulling the wraps snugly around his wrists twice I continue, “Then we protect each, individual knuckle.” I slowly cross-wrap between each finger. “Finally, we tighten up the thumb, go across the knuckles and wrist.” It should feel tight. The boxer – and we’re using the term lightly here for most of them — should feel like the small bones in their hands are held into place.
I then ask them to wrap their second hand. Most people get it, or just make small mistakes that I immediately fix, but some women like when I hold their hands – what can I say. With everyone’s hands properly wrapped, I ask them to shadow box. Not how they imagine they should shadow box, but how if they got into a fight themselves they would box.
Some of these people. “Seriously, that’s how you’re going to protect yourself?” Others have pretty impressive form. I take my time. Walk around each fighter and make corrections. Every few minutes I cry out, “Always be circling! What are you always doin’?”
“Circling!” They better scream back, if they don’t want to do pushups. There’s a reason why poets use boxing as a metaphor for life. It all starts with the footwork.
Read more: Online Exclusive Fiction: “Hand Wraps” by Dane Swan