From being a small child, I have always admired the sport of boxing and the boxers who compete, although as a small child I couldn’t have put into words just what it was that kept me enthralled, apart from the fact that they were able to fight back.
As an adult, boxing has helped me to fight back on many levels, both spiritually and physically. The life lessons that the sport of boxing has taught me have helped me to heal and to overcome the trauma of being abused, abandoned and exploited. I would like to share ten of them with you.
- You do have some control over what life throws at you. Learn what defences are available to you and when to use them.
- It is okay to get knocked down as long as you get back up. You only lose when you give up completely.
- After taking a blow that truly levels you (knocks you out cold), it is okay to rest and recover. You can use this time to reflect on what went wrong and then prepare yourself so that it doesn’t happen again.
- You are only competing against yourself. Don't think about your opponent. This is your fight. Don’t fight somebody else’s.
- By staying focused and present, you are more likely to succeed. Reflect on the past and learn from it, but don’t dwell on it at important times, especially as you step into the ring.
- Don’t be rigid in your thinking and approach to life. As the saying goes, roll with the punches. This takes the power out of your opponent's punches if they do connect, and because you are moving, they may only be glancing blows, which are much easier to deal with and far less painful than a punch that lands when you are tense and standing still.
- Accept help when you need it from the right people. You need people in your corner who have your best interests at heart. They aren’t fighting your fight, but they are watching it, and they may see something helpful that you have missed. Trust your gut instinct when choosing these people and don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake. This takes practice.
- In order to avoid unbearable disappointment after an unexpected loss, it is better to go out with the intention to enjoy what you are doing rather than the expectation to win. We can plan what we think is a winning fight strategy, but on the night of the fight we still won’t be able to predict exactly what is going to happen. Focus on your intention, not your expectation.
- Recognise your power and don’t be afraid to use it.
- Respecting others is also a way of respecting yourself. We are all at different levels on our journeys, so stay humble and open minded. Teach what you learn so that others can choose to fight back and you can continue to grow.