... the feeling I get when my avatar is standing behind the curtain waiting for the introduction. Testing the gloves for the umpteenth time before deactivating them again for the long walk between the curtain and the ring. The rush of nervous excitement as my name is called and I greet the crowd in the stands.
It really had been too long since I'd last done this.
I'm serious when I say that. I'd made a deliberate choice to put aside my career in the virtual ring that I might better serve the company in my various capacities. I'm thinking now that that was a mistake. Sure, I got a lot done (though not as much as I'd have liked to), but I think I lost touch with the rhythm and flow of life in the gym.
This isn't to say that those other duties should be neglected. In fact, a lot of the sparring sessions I was in during the week leading up to the tournament had to be cut short due to some pressing matter or other. While this may have contributed to my running out of steam in the fifth round (we'll never be certain), it does lead me to think that a balance can be achieved.
Yeah, I thought I had Karine after round four, but she came back in round five and put me away on points.
I'll get you next time, Koba! And don't doubt that there'll be one!