by Sarah Jane Anaya
Two cups of coffee sit steaming on the kitchen table, his dark with a little skim, mine pale with cream and sugar . The sun is barely up and we are discussing the checklist for everything left to do before we depart to France next week [for Carlos Molina’s June 23 bout against Souleymane Cissokho]. Certain things we don’t talk about this close to the fight. I leave the daily BS to myself and let him focus on his training . I don’t bug him about the trash needing taking out or the lock on the door that needs to be fixed, for now our house is a training camp . The routine comes naturally for me now and our 14 year old son Chris. Chris has lived his whole life with his dad the boxer and understands the life style well . We are a family and together we are Team Molina .
I can not allow the excitement of going to Paris France for the first time in my life to get in the way of the business to be handled . I keep quiet about the caramels I plan to try, and the French champagne I’m going to sample while we are in France. I know I will have free time to sneak in a little joy between the stress inducing obligations of fight week. Free Time I know Carlos wont have, and for a moment I feel guilty about fantasizing about my photo op in front of the Eiffel Tower .
For now we talk about the trunks and the outfit he will wear, the sponsors and logos we have and the logos we still need. Patches will need to be sewed on and I prefer not to have to sew any of our precious sponsor logos on minutes before the fight. Last time I did I was nervous the patch would fall off mid fight and the whole stadium will look at me in disgust of my sub par stitch job . I have enough to worry about on fight night I don’t need to add wardrobe malfunction to the list . Lets face it a flapping patch on a fighters shorts is highly distracting. This is just some of the shit I think about– flappy patches!
We look over the flight information for the team and make sure everything is correct . I take a breath and ask the tough question . The question sure to annoy most fighters …
“How is your weight ?”
I know Carlos doesn’t like to be asked and I know he will probably lie, but I ask anyway . I need to know what to feed him. I need to know how much weight he is trying to lose and adjust his meals accordingly. I need to know how much I should worry, because worrying about everything IS, after all, my job. So he tells me a number, and I try to decipher the code of his body language like a detective getting to the truth.
I start to plan a meal in my head. What I have on hand and what I will need . I would like to make 5 days of meals at once, but last time I attempted the weekly meal prep he ate half the food in one day. One day at a time is how I do it, so as not to risk over eating by a hungry beast . It’s not about what is easier for me. It’s about what is best for his training. At the end of the day what is best for his training is best for our business and family .
Yes, it is taxing, and I find my self wanting at times to rip my hair out, but the truth is this is, what we do and our world revolving around an upcoming bout and the intense training isn’t only about Carlos.Iit is about the success and future of our business and family. It is a thin line I walk between loving and caring for my husband and managing our business . A job that often makes me the bad guy . Setting up interviews he doesn’t want to do, going to events he doesn’t want to attend, and feeding him food he doesn’t want to eat. I wonder sometimes how we get through it all with our relationship intact, but we do . He thanks me later for the job I do and I remember he has the toughest job between us and I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes ever. Like EVER. I’m not a fighter or an athlete for that matter. I am a wife and mother who happens to manage a fighter because I accidentally learned how .
There came a point early in Carlos’ career when the fantasy of what this boxing career was going to be broke way to the reality of what it is. Once I saw behind the curtain there was no going back. 15 years on a hamster wheel trying to get it all to shake out. The lure of being on top and becoming champion hanging just out of reach. Close enough to keep us going yet far enough to take every ounce of what we have just to get across the finish line.
Now we balance seeking a second world title with living in a foreign country and home schooling our son, a task that takes both of us working together . Carlos reads to Chris in the afternoon after lunch and before the boxing gym . It is a time for them to relax and knock out some school work .
(Come Back for Part 2 this Wednesday)