by Sarah Jane Anaya
It is the night before we depart to Paris and my bag is packed, zipped and sitting next to the bed. Carlos’ bag is open on the couch, partially packed surrounded by clothes and shoes he hastily pulled out of the closet. This is the type of disorganization and procrastination that makes me uncomfortable. I begin folding and carefully filling his suitcase for him, which he will appreciate. On the other hand, I would never willingly let him pack for me. I can only imagine what I would end up with.
The house is quiet. Carlos is at the gym with Christian, fitting in one last run and steam before our 16 hour journey begins in the morning . I am looking forward to the time alone with my man on the plane, and I think he is too even though he hasn’t said. The flight is the calm before the storm. A time with nothing to do but sit, read, chat and relax . The hard work of training camp is behind us, as are the stresses of everyday life, for a short while.
I have just about mastered the art of staying calm. Almost- holding back the debilitating anxiety that I have experienced throughout Carlos’ 15 year career. There was a time panic the would hit me as much as two weeks before the fight, building to a near dread that caused me to question my life choices. My mom would tell me to “enjoy the ride” but I hardly did. I knew what she meant but I also knew she didn’t understand my dilemma. My feelings about Carlos fighting are a strange mix of admiration and chilling fear. I do my best to push back the dark thoughts of the worst that could happen, but they are always lurking in the back of my mind. Boxing is a dangerous sport, I have no doubt about that fact. My husband, the person who I love the most in this world, could enter the ring one night beneath the bright lights and roaring crowd and never again be the same. That is a reality of the sport, a reality for every brave soul that dips between the ropes and for the people who love them. Anyone would be naive to not be keenly aware of the dangers. Even now before we even get on the plane I look at the love of my life and pray to God we get through this next fight victorious, and above all else safely.
The morning is here and I have kissed my son goodbye, giving him instructions to be well behaved for his grandparents while we are gone. Christian is accustomed to the trips and everything in between. He has been ringside for most of Carlos’ 39 fights but this time he will stay behind. He doesn’t mind though. A week with the best grandparents a kid could ask for beats a boring trip to Paris to watch his dad fight.
Carlos Molina fights Souleymane Cissokho this Saturday, June 23 at the Dome de Paris-Palais des Sports in Paris, France…Sarah’s final piece in this series– an epilogue– will be posted early next week.