Accountant by day, boxer by night: 5 ways boxing changed my life
Throughout my career I’ve noticed the best way to grow is to constantly be in an uncomfortable environment. Everyone is different but one uncomfortable area where I feel very comfortable is inside a boxing ring.
That last sentence might not make sense at first because I’m by no means a professional boxer, definitely not trying to prove that I’m the toughest guy in the room, I’m just simply a fan of all of martial arts, have been from a young age and had decided the best way to really learn an art is under the stress of competition. Besides getting punched in the face, I was lucky enough to experience life changing benefits from boxing and feel it’s worthwhile to share some of them below:
1. I've learnt to thrive under pressure
So, what does it feel like to get in a ring with someone that’s dedicated at least 2 months of solid training to do nothing but kick your ass in front of friends, family and lot of cameras? Stressful is an understatement, in fact imagine the feeling of public speaking, bungee jumping and having the most important job interview of your life rolled up into one sandwich still wouldn’t come close to prefight jitters. However, that’s also what makes it one of the most addictive things on the planet. The weeks that lead up to a fight are a slow and exhausting process, you find yourself going into to work, socialising with friends, spending time with a loved one only to remember at least once every hour that someone is training at the very moment to embarrass you in a few weeks. As the fight date draws closer, you find yourself in an even bigger battle…the mental war against negative thoughts. Negative thoughts that creep into your head and tell you of the 100 different ways you could get knocked out in front of your family in the first round. Overcoming this struggle really makes you get comfortable with uncomfortable situations. Let’s just say job interviews have become a walk in the park ever since boxing.
2. It's given me a 'no quit' mind-set
The great Floyd Mayweather said “We don’t get tired, we get hungry” - easily one of my favourite quotes because as per the previous point I mentioned about stress, you’re constantly thinking about your opponent training while you live your normal life. Well one way of getting over that is by training as hard as possible, really pushing boundaries because there is nothing worse than doing just enough. Just enough will get you the same results as everyone else, if you want outstanding results then you have to put in outstanding work. Again, it sounds nice to read but that means forcing yourself to show up to training all those cold nights where you’re feeling lazy at home, getting up those early mornings where it’s still dark outside and most importantly going those extra rounds where you feel like giving up because you’re tired. A strong will can translate to anything - studies, career and even personal relationships. No matter how tired I am at work, if a project needs to be done then I switch to the next gear.
3. I've become more versatile in everyday life
Countless hours of sparring fighters of all shapes and sizes teaches you that there are many different styles an opponent can have, some might be aggressive and come forward where others will sit back and wait for your mistakes. They say there’s more than one way to skin a cat just like there’s more than one way to overcome an obstacle and that requires having the skillset to adapt to any situation. Both in and out of the ring I’ve made it a priority to not become one dimensional. In my career, I make sure my knowledge expands to all areas of accounting (tax, audit, etc.) because you never know when opportunities present themselves like a curve ball where your standard skills just aren’t enough.
4. I'm learning what real fitness means!
Everyone’s favourite reason for getting into this game, fitness. For a long while my goal in the fitness world was just to look good by lifting weights, but jumping in the ring taught me that muscles are pointless if you can’t use them. This anaerobic sport demands a lot from your body, so your training is naturally spread out across speed, strength, cardio and muscular endurance (on top of technical boxing). There’s quite a lot of training as you can imagine, which makes it a calorie killing activity!
5. It's allowed me to be more nutritionally conscious
Related to my two previous points, nutrition falls into the versatility category. Yes, as I mentioned boxing demands a lot from your body so to meet these demands I’ve put a good amount of research and time in the nutritional aspect. Sure, you can just get by with your normal diet, but any small competitive edge is still valuable in a fight. My meals during fight camp are planned in advance for maximum efficiency but on top of that I need the right supplements and protein shakes in between training sessions. My personal favourite is For Goodness Shakes Ultimate drink. Getting rid of the hassle of making my own drink, this ready-made protein shake contains the right vitamins to help me maintain muscle function which is perfect after a tough training session, plus on top of that it just tastes that damn good.