When we were younger, our parents were very keen on enrolling us into sports. I remember how my parents wanted to get me into any sport so badly. I tried ballet classes when I was three; cried all the way in and never went back. I also tried squash, basketball, and swimming. I believe combat sports never crossed their minds. What good would combat sports do a girl? This is what I grew to find out myself as I discovered my passion.
I discovered my passion for boxing when I was seventeen. Despite the odds, I was a little girl from a different background than most of the boxing community: shorter than any of my peers who were mostly, if not all, male; and not the most in shape back then.
My parents never found the idea appealing, but they encouraged me nonetheless. I will forever remember the day when my father told me that he found no pride in having his daughter become a fighter, but I will also never forget the day he eventually came to say he was proud of me.
Today I can say that taking on boxing was the best decision of my life. Being an amateur boxer for five years has taught me the most valuable lessons that I live by until today. Allow me to share some of them with you.
Always Move Forward
“It ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa
I believe we all know the famous line from the movie Rocky Balboa. Even for the ones who are not interested in boxing, this movie was so inspirational to many people, and this quote can never be more accurate as it not only applies to boxing, but also to life. You keep moving forward. No matter how hard the blow, no matter how dizzy you may feel now, you keep moving forward. It’s not a shame to fall; the sWhame is only in never trying to get back up.
It’s a Dance
Some people look at boxing it as if it is a dance between two people. We actually do sometimes call it dancing. The reason is that you learn how to react based on your opponent’s actions, and vice versa. If you’re not alert to your opponent’s movements the dance will not be complete, and one person will be dancing on their own.
Same thing in life: in relationships with family members or friends. Always act based on the actions of the people around you; do not give too little to your mother who has given you everything, so you don’t regret it later on. Don’t give too much to an acquaintance that might not deserve it, or else you will deal with the consequences.
Fight for the Right Reasons
Always make sure that you choose your battles. You do not have to show up to every fight if you know it is not in your favor, if it will do more harm than good. In boxing, we can tell if the fight is based on anger with the opponent or if there is a noticeable mismatch between the opponents. Same thing in life, you do not have to show up to every argument you are invited to. You are not obligated to prove anything to anyone. If a situation does not support your growth learn to keep away from it for your own good.
Live the Present Moment
In boxing, we do not focus on winning the whole fight. While in the ring, the entire focus is on the current round –one round at a time. In a fight, you must not focus on the move you are planning to do next. Your entire focus must be on the present moment. If your mind is not present you will get the upcoming blow, and miss the chance to counter. If we think about what our main focus is on a daily basis, we can see that we are so focused on what we want to do next, our next move, next plan. We miss every chance to enjoy the present moment and to focus on the current action taking place that will guide us to our next move, and help us win each round on its own time.
Boxing is not only what we see in the movies. There is more to fighters than what we see –more than physical strength and the ability to show anger. Mike Tyson was always angry but look at all the trouble he went through.
Boxing requires patience, wittiness, respect, compassion, and passion for what you believe in. That is why female boxers bring so much into a fight. Women are already fighters every day in their lives: they are competitive, fair, passionate, and witty; they push through pain, and above all have humility all the way through.
Since boxing taught me so much, I honestly wish more parents allow their daughters to take on any sport of their choice, no matter how “not girly” it sounds. Let her pick what she wants to do, find her passion, become her own champion, find success and fulfillment in her own way. You will feel prouder than ever. Trust me, my father tried it himself.
I will forever remember the day when my father told me that he found no pride in having his daughter become a fighter, but I will also never forget the day he eventually came to say he was proud of me