Really? Boxing?

Yes, Boldly Feminine here likes to box. I started four years ago, and in part, I think that began as a rebellion against the whole 'princess' thing that people tend to label me with. It was also partly to train myself to be better at self defense. I felt like people that weren't supposed to be close to me might get under my defense system, and boxing trains you physically and mentally watch for someone that's trying to get under your guard. Too, as with all physical exertion, a correlation between my mental strength and my physical strength came through; they were interdependent.

For four years now hasn't changed. I am sooo happy when I get to the gym. Now the regular gym...I walk in and it's business as usual- but the boxing gym- that's different. When I get there I am in such a good mood. I love the mood, I like the people, I like the story behind boxing.There's a really great camaraderie when it's just you with nothing else but the physical 'you'. It's not about your neighborhood, house, your job or even the car you drive or how you dress. In a real boxing gym, the kind like mine on the kinda wrong side of town with blood on the mats, you are fighting to win.Fighting to be something.

Now I'm not that good a boxer, but each of my coaches has enjoyed working with me as much as I love being there because I give it my all. I'm harder on myself than they are on me. I'll push myself without them asking, and then push myself as hard as they ask as well - and then ask for more.I don't quit, and when we're done I'm dripping sweat and my hands are swollen and red.

I think that boxing is both primitive and noble. It's brutal. To let someone beat the bejesus out of you for a living is no picknick, ( note, watch The FIghter) but everyone in that gym, whether they're serious about boxing or not, really gets that part of it. That for the guys that are good it's beyond strength and stamina. For the ones who get it, it's about pushing yourself when you think you have no more to give,; it's about fighting back for every injustice ever done to you; it's about fighting strong, for those who ever thought that you could be taken advantage of because they thought you were weak. Boxing is about, " Oh yeah? Watch me now and about,"You think you can get to me? Think again." Boxing is just you, your stamina, strength and strategy...which's about life.

Because in this life, for any and all of us, you have to be ready for what's coming at you. You need to be trained, ready, and physically and mentally prepared for the quick jabs that are going to distract you. Keep your fists up, and defend yourself. Hit back, dodge, slip the next jab, punch, keep your balance, your focus and then, hit back,....hard. Losers don't win in boxing. They may be noble, but they're going to be a lot bloodier than the winner.

There are so many metaphors that relate to real life in boxing,that sometimes I'm distracted and think," I want to write that lesson down. That was a good one."And I will get hit. Which is a reminder. Another metaphor. You have to keep your focus and keep your wits about you- because if you don't -you're dead meat. Fast.

Is all of life that extreme? No. but it all works together. Learn to watch for what's coming as well as be prepared for what's coming. Work hard, train hard, and when the blows come, you'll be able to take the punches.

Another thing about the boxing gym is the ones that love it, love it for the same reason. It's such an equalizer. It's a meritocracy. In the boxing gym you have to earn your way . Nothing else is of value. And for all of us, any of us, that is such a great and necessary lesson to keep present in life.

Boxing? Really? Oh yeah.