The question of when you know you’ve become a man has always preyed upon my mind, mostly because the answer seems so elusive.
In fact, there have been many times in my life when I’ve silently confirmed to myself that, yes, this is it–no more boy. I believed it the first time I kissed a girl (I was fifteen), the first time I drove by myself (sixteen), when I graduated from high school (eighteen), got married (twenty-four), and when I became a father (twenty-nine).
But I was wrong. Each of those instances might have inched me along from boy to man, but they never quite got me there.
What did get me there happened about four years ago, the day I had a conversation with a friend of mine who also happened to be a boxer. “A man never knows what he’s made of until he gets punched,” he told me.
He was right, too.
I’m posting for Katdish today on her blog so she can get a little painting done (and by painting, I mean hanging out on Twitter all day). So why don’t you follow me over there and read the story about the first time I stepped into the ring. It’s your chance to see the other side of Billy Coffey.