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In my mystery “Out Cold” my protagonist, Duffy, gets knocked out sparring in the first chapter. He’s told to take some time off to be safe but he doesn’t. He even sneaks off to another gym where his coach won’t catch him to get some sparring in.

He gets knocked out again.

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People who are into the combative arts know about this. They fight when it would make sore sense to take a day off. They fight when they’re injured. They fight when they’re overtrained.

In the world of professional boxing they keep fighting when they should retire–even when they have enough money.

Yet, these same guys will describe the feelings right before fighting as not entirely pleasant. It’s exciting but it can also be filled with dread and anxiety.

Is the compulsion to fight about feeling the rush of acting against fear? Can that rush then turn into a compulsion–a compulsion that can cause harm to a person?

Is it a dynamic exclusive to combative sports or do people compulsively do things for the rush of fighting their fears?