October 31, 2006
Fighting My Inner Pig-Dog

Most Americans have heard the German expression Schweinehund as an all-purpose cuss word used by cliché Nazi characters in cheesy World War II movies. Ach Scheisse, Du Schweinehund, screeches the creepy-looking Nazi. Hitler ist eine Schweinhund, taunts the Anglo-Saxon hero, driving a platoon of creepy Nazis into an insane rage, provoking them to shoot around in a deranged frenzy, completely missing the hero, who then craftily stages his heroic escape.

Actually, I've only ever heard the word Schweinehund (which translates literally to Pig-Dog) in one specific phrase: den Schweinehund bekämpfen -- "fight against my Pig-Dog". You usually have to fight against your Schweinehund while playing a sport or working out, late in the game when you're nearly exhausted but still have to perform. Your inner Schweinehund is the part of you that wants to give up, quit, go home and let the other guy win. The inner Schweinehund can't take it any more, doesn't care about winning or losing, so if you don't want to be a quitter, you have to fight back and beat it.

Last week I had an encounter with my inner Pig-Dog, but it was a glorious occasion. Finally, after a five month break due to my knee injury, the doctors said I was good to go and I went back to my first full hour of training at the boxing school. And goddamn if it wasn't fucking geil to be back, just as intense and exhilarating as it ever was, the moment I've waiting for all this time.

And it also almost did me in. After I got injured, I tried to stay in shape, and did pretty well with that for a few months, but after a while I slacked off. I've also been trying to stop smoking, but it never quite goes away (I'll quit once and for all tomorrow, I swear). Near the end of the hour I was dizzy with exhaustion, panting like a dog, struggling against my Schweinehund, and I must admit that it got the better of me a few times. But I hung in there, kept hitting harder, and my partner was impressed that I was still in it as much as I was. I went again tonight and it's already getting better. I'm back, I'm ready to go, and I'm gonna beat the piss out of the Pig-Dog.

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