Sunday, July 25, 2010

I love boxing and I don't know why

I love boxing and I don’t know why.

I love to hit my trainer and I love to hit other people in the class and I love to hit that bag. I completely and utterly LOVE it. So on the surface, I suppose it looks as though I’m physically attacking someone else. And I am, which is kind of a kick because that’s a felony in most states. And yes, it's fun. Big fun. But to me, it’s as though we are two opposing sides of a chess game and I am using my body to think my way through every move that the other side makes. If I’m crafty, I could anticipate their move before they do, based on the moves they’ve made before – just like chess. After a certain point, you can see how they think. And if you study their thought processes closely enough, you can see why they think the way they do. You can go as far and as deep as you want, one swing at a time.

Boxing, as it turns out, is a thinking man’s game.

There’s a lot of strategy involved. I suppose this is me blatantly stating the obvious but I’ll say it anyway: once you’ve mastered technique, it’s all mental. Or sometimes, it’s emotional. You can apply this rule to anything. Take singing, for example. The technique I’ve mastered allows me the freedom to let go and pretty much let God – or what some call inspiration – take over. The thing is, there are definitely a lot of mind games that happen before anyone gets in the ring and takes a swing at anyone else. And the movement, the swinging, the aggression – it’s constant.

Boxing, as it turns out, is dancing.

I can’t use my body for much of anything with this sport if it’s not strong enough to give a punch or take one and if I don’t have any endurance. Or coordination. As it turns out, I have all three of those things. I just didn’t know it. I am much stronger than I think I am – physically and mentally. Whenever I box, all of this becomes a little more apparent and a little more of that strength is revealed to me. And of course, all of that strength and self-discipline spills out onto every other part of my life. It's a way better workout than aerobics. At least I'm learning a skill I can actually use.

Okay. Maybe I do know why I love boxing.

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