My “secret” to a fulfilling life…

My “secret to a fulfilling life…

If you’re reading this and you’re short on time then don’t fear…I’m not going to make you wait till the end of this blog to tell you my little secret. I’m going to tell you straight away. But if you have a few more minutes spare I encourage you to read on as the lessons are in the detail. Now before I reveal this, I am conscious that this might seem self-serving as a personal trainer with a focus on boxing…but I’m going to say it anyway.

My secret to a fulfilling life is boxing…but let me tell you why.

Boxing came to me at a time when I needed something new. I always liked sports and played multiple growing up, but in the years following high school I was craving something different…something challenging.

I remember hassling my older brother, who’d started boxing a year or so prior, to take me to his gym for a long time. In 2004 when he finally obliged and I walked into the my first ever boxing gym, I had no idea that 13 years later I would have a number of amateur fights to my name and built a career off it.

My first boxing session…I was scared. The gym was full of professional fighters, and the training was unlike anything I’d done before. One of the best decisions I’ve made was breaking through that fear and going back a second time, as it was from there that I fell in love with the technical game of boxing.
I grew enough confidence through my training to begin sparring. The first time I sparred..well, let’s just say it was embarrassing. Everything I thought I knew went out the window and I went into survival mode (chipping 4 of my teeth as silly me didn’t wear a mouthguard). I learnt my lesson quick. All I could think about was to cover my head and try to breathe. There were days where I left the gym feeling like giving up…like I’d never get there. But I persisted and as time went on I found new ways to stay relaxed, take hits and throw them back.

After I started to spar at the gym, my boxing skills, footwork and confidence continued to improve. In 2011 and 2012 I rolled the dice and had 6 amateur boxing fights. It was a great learning experience. I was very nervous before each bout but also excited to see what I was capable of in the ring.

So what has all of this taught me…?

Lean in to vulnerability – Some of the most rewarding things in life sit on the other side of discomfort. When things feel that little bit scary, those may be the moments to dive right in. Those might be the moments to show you what you’re really made of.

Push through your self-talk – In the pursuit of anything, but especially your mental and physical health and wellbeing, sometimes you need to push past your own apathy. There were plenty of days where I didn’t “feel” like training, but “feeling” like it has nothing to do with it. Stay resilient and push through it.

There is learning in failure – No one is perfect…in fact in many things in life perfection doesn’t exist. Celebrate your wins but equally appreciate your failures and learn from them.

If I just stay true to these 3 principles in all aspects of my life, then I believe I’ll find happiness and fulfillment. Those are the lessons that boxing has given me…and that’s my “secret” to a fulfilling life.

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