How Boxing Changed My Life
Tuesday, January 23 2018
I am a lover, not a fighter. I do not have a temper. I am not aggressive and prefer to hold in my feelings. Prior to boxing, I had never been in a fight, I was afraid of getting hit and would avoid confrontation at all costs. On the surface, I do not have the personality to be a boxer. Or the mindset. That was until I tried it for the first time and realized we all have what it takes to embrace the ‘sweet science.’
I discovered boxing while living in New York City. Trapped between towering buildings and millions of people, I felt I needed a new escape. One that I could do indoors to avoid variable weather and dodging tourists. A few of my friends suggested boxing saying, “it is so much fun and such a good workout.”
I realized both to be true as soon as I joined my first boxing class at Gotham Gym. I might have looked like an idiot trying to hold pads for the first time, or trying to punch with the wrong foot positioned forward. That didn’t matter. I got the workout of a lifetime and had the best time doing it. From that day on, I was hooked. I started boxing at 180lbs. I had my first fight at 165lbs. I boxed my second bout at 148lbs. I will let you do the math there.
Apart from getting in great shape, it also helped me mentally. When you are boxing, you can only focus on yourself. You start thinking about that annoying client or that 3pm meeting, then you lose focus. When you lose focus, you get hit in the face. You will quickly learn that disconnecting is far better than getting hit in the face.
Much like any sport, the more you practice the more you progress. In boxing, progressing means getting the ring. Through coaching and understanding of the sport, the fear of getting hit in the face is rationalized and it becomes a game of strategy. A human chess match where you must plan your moves carefully and watch your opponent closely.
During your first match, you will learn more about yourself in six minutes than a lifetime of existing. What you discover is pure human instinct. Hunt or be hunted. Survival of the fittest. Fueled by adrenaline, your senses will take over and you will process everything while feeling nothing. You will develop hyperawareness in a ring sized vacuum. Each round will feel like an eternity and each rest period will feel like warp speed. However, you will make it to the end. You will hug you opponent, you will lose control of every emotion and you will cry like a baby.
It is the feeling of total accomplishment. The hard work, the training, the sacrifice, the survival. It all pays off in the end. I encourage everyone to try boxing. You will get in shape, you will change your life and you will become a better person.