Nelson Mandela turns 94 today. In his younger years, Mandela was a heavyweight boxer and in this photo he is sparring with Jerry Moloi on the roof of a Johannesburg building.
In his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela describes his love of boxing (and why he did it):
I did not enjoy the violence of boxing so much as the science of it. I was intrigued by how one moved one’s body to protect oneself, how one used a strategy both to attack and retreat, how one paced onself over a match.
Boxing is egalitarian. In the ring, rank, age, color, and wealth are irrelevant … I never did any real fighting after I entered politics. My main interest was in training; I found the rigorous exercise to be an excellent outlet for tension and stress. After a strenuous workout, I felt both mentally and physically lighter. It was a way of losing myself in something that was not the struggle. After an evening’s workout I would wake up the next morning feeling strong and refreshed, ready to take up the fight again. (Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, page 193.)
Happy Birthday to the true definition of a fighter.
- Go Native FSC