On the surface, boxing is a sport where one man faces another in a brutal battle of strength, skill, and determination. Sure, on the surface this appears to be correct. But just below the surface, the real fight going on is the fight that each boxer is fighting against himself. That fight began long before he stepped foot in the ring and tapped gloves before the bell. The inner fight has been progressing slowly and deliberately each day in the gym, on the dinner plate, and in quiet meditation. A true boxer is a warrior, but not in the sense that one might think by looking at him perform in the ring. He is a warrior of self-discipline, mental composure, extreme focus, and a master of harnessing the power of his will, whether in the ring, at something like an axis deer trophy hunting ranch, or any other place in life.
A boxer’s journey starts from the first day he musters up the courage to step into his first boxing gym. Having never put on a pair of gloves or wrapped his hands, he finds the courage to face and accept his ignorance, and the inner strength to walk through any intimidation he may feel in navigating an unfamiliar environment. Courage in the face of the unknown is the first lesson a new boxer begins to learn, but it doesn’t end there. His journey, the inner competition with himself, will teach him countless lessons that will be just as useful in life as they are in the ring. Each man’s path will be different, but there are two major lessons that even a hobbyist’s journey in boxing will teach him.
Patience with Deliberate Action
There are no shortcuts in boxing. There is a major difference between the first time a man throws a jab at a heavy bag and the millionth time. A difference that only time can create. The technique behind the rotation of the shoulders, hips, the forearm and the fist, must be practiced and repeated to be refined. The central nervous system must adapt and grow, and the muscle memory must be developed over time. There is no substitute for training and time, no matter how much “raw talent” one may have. This lesson has far-reaching implications in a man’s life, be it in business or personal relationships. Consistent, patient refinement is the only thing that will create a sharp, effortless, and accurate jab. However, that “jab” may be defined in context.
Boxing also teaches patience on another more immediate level. When squaring off in the ring, a boxer quickly learns that it’s usually not a good idea to rush headlong into his opponent while that opponent’s defenses are crisp and fully intact. It wastes energy and often ends up with the aggressor getting tied up or counter-punched. If this reckless tactic is repeated the boxer tires himself out while his opponent stays fresh and mobile. Once a boxer learns how to patiently and deliberately pick apart his opponent’s defenses, he tilts the probability of victory in his favor. This strategy can apply to all goals in life. Methodical and deliberate action to chip away at obstacles to achieve the desired outcome. A simple idea, but when learned in the ring it’s learned for life.