2. Medical Definition of MATURITY
the quality or state of being mature; especially : full development
Neither of these definitions were what I was thinking of.
Maturity to me is the process of becoming one’s true self. It’s the lifelong process of discovering who and what we are. It’s the ability to do just the opposite of the first definition. Maturity to me is the ability to be who you are no matter what society says, or in the case of a boxer, no matter what the crowd, the fans and outside influences say.
A boxer matures in the ring with experience just as a person does in life. They have to be able to know exactly what their style is, when to incorporate different styles, when to listen to their instinct, when to shut out the crowd and when to hold their own in the face of incredible discomfort and fear.
Maturity is a quiet and calm confidence that takes over when the path seems insurmountable. This year, I earned a few stripes in maturity I’m proud to say- of course not without a few acts of immaturity for spice. Gotta keep it interesting!
I remember in my 30’s a bunch of influential women were turning 50 and every single one of them said exactly the same thing: Once they turned 50 they stopped caring as much about what others thought about them, they relaxed, they became more comfortable with themselves, they matured. I knew one thing for sure, I did not want to have to wait until I was 50 to have this experience.
So, I’m not. I have spent a lifetime doubting myself and in the past 8 years, I really doubted and lost myself. It seemed as if I was going the opposite direction of maturity. But, the path is never as it appears! In the ring, I cared a lot about what others thought, in my coaching, I needed people to approve of me and my style and in my personal interactions, I needed even deeper approval.
I was left with a growing disparity of who I really was, and who I was presenting. Tension was prevalent. I couldn’t let my hands go, I was frozen with fear and indecision. Frozen with the inability to make big decisions. Frozen with the fear of not being able to make it in any different situation than the one I was in.
Maturity won out. The desire to be calm, to let my style emerge, to let my hands go became bigger than my fear and I am so grateful for this. The hard work has really just begun and I am excited because I like to work. I like to share with others my experience so they too can mature at a faster rate.
And hopefully I’ll influence someone in their 20’s who says they don’t want to be 42 to have to mature and be exactly who they are!