1,000: Calories Burned or Lessons Learned

"Success is the peace of mind which is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you made the effort to become the best at what you are capable of becoming.” ~ John Wooden

Many people find boxing because they've heard it's a great way to get in shape and lose weight.  Now believe me boxing is an intense, fun and challenging workout that most people fall in love with once they try it, but I think something people often forget is...it's a professional sport! And this means it's not easy, will take time to master and there is more too it than the calorie burn.
Many sports go through what boxing has in the past 5 years or so, they become the latest trend in the fitness industry to help people lose weight and spend their money.  What is always lost when a sport becomes a fitness endeavor is the depth, skill and mastery it requires.  When people hear a boxing club (that will remain nameless) claim you can burn 1000 calories in a hour at their classes, most participants could give a shit if they learn how to box they just want to see calories burned and pounds lost.  So we focus on nothing that people could gain from boxing, but instead only on the weight loss.  

Now I get it America is obsessed (to say the least) with weight lost and the pursuit of some unrealistic perfect body and every person that can make a buck of this will jump on board to do so.  Boxing is just one of the hot new ways we see people neglecting the true benefits of a sport for the promise of a more "acceptable" and toned physique.  

Boxing is an incredible sport and the mastery of it will teach you endless lessons athletically and personally.  You never have to step foot in a ring and get punched in the face to feel what I am talking about.  But what you do have to do is kick those weight loss, media drive pursuit of perfection goals to the curb if you want to really get the most out of it.  

I fought for years, trained hard, sparred, got my ass kicked and kicked some ass and my focus was never on weight or my body.  My focus was on my performance, improving my skills, becoming a better athlete/boxer, building strength, and mastering my craft.   This is why I got so much out of this sport and why I want to see other women benefit from it like I did.  

Mastering something ain't easy.  It takes time, patience, hard work, consistency and did I mention time.  It takes a focus and commiment to "getting it right".  You must have a desire to one day move as proficiently as you see those move who are at the top of the sport.  You must practice the boring stuff, accept that some training sessions won't be the most "intense" workout ever and set your sights on something greater than weight loss.  

When you watch the athletes in the gym who move effortlessly and can do things right now you wish you could, you must remember they were once were you are at now.  They paid their dues.  They practiced.  They slowed down to get the form/technique right.  They focused on their desire to be a better athlete rather than lose weight.  

I want all my students to move, look and feel like boxers.  I want my girls to experience all the benefits of boxing that go far beyond what weight loss can ever give them.  When you move around that bag with finesse, throw a punch that lands with a pop, and duck with ease you will find yourself in a zone where confidence, strength and empowerment live and those are the true gifts of mastery.  

Mastering a craft seems to be a lost value.  People want everything right now (or yesterday).  They want all the benefits before they've put in the work.  They want short cuts and quick fixes. None of this ever works, shortcuts always lead to dead ends.  You miss the commitment, consistency, persistence, patience, growth, understanding, and proficiency that comes from taking the time to master your craft.  

Now I know you don't have all the time in the world to practice your boxing skills.  We all have jobs, families, and other commitments.  But what I encourage you to do is come into the club today and instead of focusing on getting "a good workout" focus on "what can I learn, where can I improve, what can I work on".  Think of your time as a training session not a workout, time to master your craft, an investment in yourself.  Let go of how much you sweat, how many calories you burn, or how tired you feel post-workout and instead set an intention to become a better boxer, a better athlete and a better person.  You aren't wasting your time if you don't feel exhausted after training, you just were focused on something greater than a perception of work linked to a goal driven by a society that wants you to feel not good enough. 

Embrace your sport, learn to move effectively and don't miss out on all you can gain from it's mastery!