This post is inspired by Azteca Boxer Sarah Canul. I met her when taking boxer Jen Hamann down to Azteca for sparring rounds.
When you first go into a boxing gym with the desire to compete, you don’t get a lot of attention. The coach notices you, but they notice from afar. Some gyms teach you the basics, some gyms don’t teach you a thing and just point out the heavy bag and say, “have at it”. Sarah was in the phase of having learned some basics and was starting the arduous day to day training without much feedback or attention. If boxers get through this phase, as a coach, you know you might be on to something. Boxing is sometimes team and sometimes individual. In the end, the boxer is all alone in the ring having to implement everything practiced up to that point. All this training without attention reveals whether a person has the personal drive and motivation to dig in and work, especially on the days that motivation is elusive. Sarah kept showing up day after day and every time we went down to Azteca, you could see her improvements. She had her first fight in October at her club’s own boxing show and since then, her hard work has been stepped up a notch. I saw her at weigh-ins yesterday and she was looking so fit. She’s dropped weight, she looks more toned, and she is carrying a different confidence in her body. You could sense that she had also improved her mental fitness. It is all a package after all. Physically fit means nothing without the mental component. Sarah made an astute statement yesterday via her facebook page and it really got my attention. Here is the part of the post I am referring to….
People have been saying I’m so skinny now and how great I look, but there are a lot of people who can look skinny and great, but not be fit. Fitness is something someone works hard for, and it doesn’t happen overnight. I haven’t been dieting, I’ve been working towards overall healthier eating for every meal, every day, and exercising daily. There’s no magic pill and no special surgery, it’s lifestyle changes that are actually really simple and make so much sense. Fitness is a lifestyle, and once you stick to it, it becomes you and can be seen through you
This was powerful and true. I too made a decision a 1 1/2 years ago to start making little daily changes in my diet, exercise patterns and my overall mental outlook on life and it has made a major difference. I am the fittest I have been in my life and it feels amazing to accomplish because it is something I have worked for day in and day out. I’m still working at it and have a long way to go in both physical and mental aspects of fitness.
I like coaching, because I can practice living these changes and demonstrating them for others and make an impact in my community with my choices. Sarah has done that in her community. Thanks for your insightful post Sarah, and sharing your thoughts with all of us.