Updated: Oct 26, 2019
From the safety and comfort of the corporate office to the vulnerability and uncertainty of the boxing ring.
If you had asked me a few short years ago where I would see myself in my 30's I can tell you there's no dark corner of my imagination where the answer would have involved anything with a level of athleticism. I most certainly would not have entertained the idea of stepping through the ropes to compete as a boxer.
Let's be honest.. I embraced life, raising my hand to activities in which I could be sure I would naturally excel. Any wayward level of commitment or dedication that fell conveniently into my lap generally washed away faster than a sandcastle in high tide.
By the time young adulthood knocked upon my door I had to put down my cigarettes & Passion Pop to get off the couch and let it in.
Then one seemingly ordinary day after listening to a captivating seminar on Resilience by Paul Taylor, Former Royal Navy Aircrew Officer, Neuroscientist, Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist and one of my favourite speakers in the space of all things involving body and mind, a poster advertising a 12 week corporate boxing event whispered my name as I passed it by... I guess the razzle-dazzle after 60 minutes of all things resilience and courage had stirred up my sanity for just long enough to see me formally raise my hand to this venture.
And so it begins... indeed I could write quite the book about that 12 week journey.
I walked in on day one, ever so self-assured wearing my 29-years-in-the-making facade of certainty and bravado. Over the 84 days that followed I clenched white-knuckled to a thrilling yet equally terrifying roller coaster of emotions, self-awareness, discovery, fears, uncertainty and a whole generous goodie bag of emotions and truths.
Boxing is referred to as the sweet science... Let's paint a picture of some of what is required to master this sport:
Take a multitude of physical attributes such as developing speed, strength, endurance, co-ordination, power and specific technical skills simultaneously. Layer upon this the mental attributes of mind such as overcoming fear and fatigue, developing resilience, grit, fight strategies and an unwavering level self-belief.
As athletes, boxers calculated a fine line between training their minds to overcome the perceived physical limitations of their bodies and on the flip side 'listening to their bodies' to ensure a balance to result in peak performance and longevity in the sport.
This devilish concoction gives boxing its well earned reputation for being the most difficult sport in the world.
Let's throw some icing upon the fighter cake for our lady warriors in addition to this. For we have broken the barriers to this male dominated sporting arena with guns blazing and we have pegged a flag of our own in center ring. Female fighters have opened the door to a new dynamic in boxing, showcasing great technical aspects along with a grit and determination to match our male counterparts.
For me, a sliding doors moment triggered by a poster on a wall undoubtedly and completely changed my life; my physiology, my psychology, my outlook, my relationships, my everything.
Come 2019 I hold three state titles, a bigger heart, more compassion, better relationships, a life fueled by purpose, the ability to tough things out and do the work, ever increasing self-awareness and a hunger to succeed... and this, this is just the very beginning.