What boxing has taught me

box-1432316322-2371743I recently took up boxing, to many people’s surprise.

In just over a week, I’ve learnt a lot, and with another seven weeks to go, who knows what will happen.

I thought it would be fun, and get me fit. I was right. But I never thought it would teach me so many life skills in the process.

Strength

In a mere week, I learnt that I was made of stronger stuff that I had ever known before.

When I wanted to stop, I said no. When I wanted to collapse, I said no. I refused to listen to my aching body’s demands, and I kept going, and I learnt that I don’t have to listen to negative thoughts, or negative words.

I can lift up my hands and keep going, no matter how slowly.

woman-boxing-gymOne day, I couldn’t quite get my body to agree with me on my limitations, and so my shakey legs wouldn’t put one foot in front of the other willingly, my aching back hunched, I wanted to run, to keep going, and I kept slowing down until my coach told me ‘You can do it.’

Four simple words.

I repeated it to myself. ‘I can do it.’

Something happened, something inside me buzzed, ‘I can do it.’

I said to myself again.

‘I CAN do it.’ I believed it almost, I believed I could do it.

So I screamed, at the top of my lungs, ‘I CAN DO IT!’, for myself – not to tell anyone, simply to reaffirm to myself that I can do it.

It spurred me on, because I believed it, and so a nervous energy took over my body, I sung it to myself, and my feet moved, my heart bounced, and damn straight – I did it.

I remind myself, whether I’m struggling mentally or physically, I just tell myself ‘I can do it’, and lo and behold, I believe I can, and thus, I do.

Resilience

I got punched in the face, more than once, and it was hard. I had tears in my eyes from the shock, and I felt like I was seeing stars. My ears ringing, my hands shaking, I had to keep going, so I did.

As I swung, I got hit again, I had to take a breather, and even once I got out of the ring, had to get right back in a few minutes later. My limbs aching, my eyes stinging, I got back in the ring, because that’s what I was there for – to box, to learn, to toughen up.

Boxing hurts. But it also feels incredible.

And every time I get in the ring, I’m getting beaten on, and broken, but every time, I last a little longer, feel a little stronger and the punches hurt a little less.

Sly Stallone said, “ going in, one more round when you don’t think you can, that’s what makes all the difference in your life.”

I learnt that I can keep going, if I choose to keep going, and so can you.

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Having a support network will help push you, when you run out of push for yourself.

A support network

I learnt how important a supportive team or network is.

I had nothing left, nothing to give, no energy or strength and no air left in my lungs, and I had to keep going.

I didn’t know how I was going to keep going, how I was going to get the hell up, and put one foot in front of the other, I hung my head, gasping for air, not knowing how to go on.

But then, I heard ‘You can do it Cait!’ from someone behind me….then someone else called out ‘Come on Cait!’ , and someone else said ‘You’re tough Cait, get back in there!’ – I had a team of people I’d only known for a week, encouraging me, wanting me to succeed and supporting me in my weakest point.

If I couldn’t do it for me, maybe I could do it for the team, the team standing right behind me and wanting me to get up and fight on.

I got up, I got back in the ring, I got pummeled, but I felt good, knowing, I’d pushed myself past my limits, survived, and had a group of people cheering for me every step of the way.

Always keep your guard up

And finally, I learnt, through many hits and punches, many bruises and aching joints, never forget to keep your guard up – protect your best asset – yourself, and your body.

You only get one body, and one life, and I learnt in one week, how important it is, to keep it nourished, keep aware of what was going on underneath, and to protect myself from damages done.

Fight hard, fight fair, and always always always, scream ‘I CAN DO IT’ if you ever doubt yourself.

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