Life Lessons Brought to You by Boxing

Over the past few years, I have become a boxing enthusiast (this doesn’t sound very street, but I have been told multiple times I have no street cred so…). Boxing draws me in. Three reasons I know this to be true.

  1. When I see it on TV, I let the remote stop on the channel and I voluntarily watch it, even when my husband isn’t around.
  2. I went to see the last Rocky movie, Creed, in the movie theater during opening week (I probably would have watched all the Rocky movies sooner if Michael B. Jordan had starred in all of them).
  3. I  even have a whole new respect for the movie, Million Dollar Baby, since I got into boxing. Hillary Swank, who usually drives me crazy, doesn’t annoy me in that movie. I idolize her and dream about getting to train with a coach as my full-time job. (However, I would keep my guard up the whole time, especially against dirty fighters.)

Being a boxing enthusiast, I am a dedicated boxing student. I box five times a week, three of those days at 5AM. I listen to all the instruction I get. Pivot this foot. Turn your hip. Bring your arm back. Elbows out. Elbows in. Plant your foot. Keep your heel up. Stay on your toes. Stay light on your feet.

Even so, I’ve almost fallen down stepping backwards. (Yes, I definitely said “stepping backwards“.) I got hit in the mouth once because I went to throw a hook instead of roll. Or I rolled instead of hooked. And now every time I go to roll when I’m working with the instructor, I flinch like one of those rescue dogs that suffered years of abuse. Don’t even tell me to change my stance, you throw the whole left and right thing into the mix – not so good. I’m kind of a mess. All the instruction is jumbled around in my head and it all seems like it’s contradicting itself. I get really confused, worried I am going to mess up, worried I look stupid. I get distracted by a song, start singing and forget the combo because I can’t be expected to remember lyrics and remember combos. Hashtag – life is hard (uh-oh, street cred points taken away).

So here is my latest epiphany. 

When no one is telling me what to do, and I clear my head and stop thinking so much, I’m actually not too bad. My feet don’t feel like concrete blocks. My mind is no longer in control, my body is just flowing through the moves and knows exactly what it’s supposed to be doing. This out of mind experience can last a few seconds, maybe a minute, maybe more if I am really lucky. Until my mind barges back in and then I am all thrown off again.

The point…our brains serve us well most of the time. Don’t worry, I am still thankful I have a brain. Sometimes though, sometimes, it gets in the way. We don’t trust our gut enough.

Have you ever made a decision instantly without giving it much thought and you felt excited and happy, but then you start thinking through the risks, hearing all sorts of other people’s concerns and advice in your head, all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it, and then your concrete feet sink slowly into the indecisive abyss? The excitement is gone, the balloon has been popped. Everything is jumbled, confusion sets in, and you are all out of whack.

I wonder what would happen if every now and then we trust what our gut is trying to tell us. We don’t ask 10 people to tell us what they think we should do. We don’t focus on what could go wrong.

It. Could. Turn. Out. DISASTROUS!

True, it could. We could keep solely relying on our brain, overthinking everything, and then end up falling down stepping backwards or getting hit in the face weaving instead of bobbing. But, hear me out, if a split decision makes you feel excited and happy, a little lighter on your feet…

can it really be all that bad?

In the least your gut instinct deserves some attention before your brain takes a nail gun to your excited, happy little balloon bouquet. Another perk, using my brain to overthink everything is exhausting. So maybe, just maybe, if we trusted our gut, we wouldn’t be so mentally tired all the time. I am going to keep challenging myself to get out of my own way and trust my gut a little more. (And maybe get some personal boxing sessions, because my gut is only going to take me so far with that endeavor.)



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