Fear shows up all over the place. You can see it in the body language of fighters and you can also see when they feel confident. It’s clear up on that stage, under the lights what the fighter is internally dealing with. Their tension, relaxation, movement…..Really everything, exposes their deepest truth and it’s in front of all of us.
Honestly that exposure is the same in daily life, but somehow we think we are hiding and going unnoticed. We think that we don’t have physical habits that tell the truth versus what we are trying to show. We look at the boxer in the ring, yet think that we are not like them.
Tonight at the fights, I heard a snippet of conversation from a couple of guys in the crowd referring to the fight they were watching. “Where’s your stamina? You should at least be able to last 4 rounds, but look at these guys, they were gassed in the first minute of the fight. They have no stamina.”
I wanted to respond, “Dude! How bout you tense every muscle in your body, hold your breath and hop back and forth in front of a group of strangers and family, plus take punches……….OK, after you do that for 30 seconds, please let me know if you can do that for 4 rounds at 3 minutes each with a minute rest…….”
But, no, I quietly stood there and just listened to how easy it is to look at another and not realize how much we are the same and that we tend to struggle with similar things. I imagine I do the same thing in other areas of my life.
The ability to understand and empathize with others about their similar experiences is a true hallmark of a boxer. Boxers share with each other their punches taken, moves practiced, trainer stories, weight cutting, training methods and so much more. There is an experience, unique to each boxer and they love to share the intricacies piece by piece. Within each version told is a common theme felt by others- we all have less than stellar moments and when we truly experience and accept them, we grow and improve our skills and confidence. It’s a theme of exploration and triumph in self-efficacy.
Boxing has forced me to be open and vulnerable. It has forced me to step back and see…….see myself and others more clearly. More and more, I want to practice the humanity of the ring. It is truths told, stories that matter, expression, intelligence, raw passion, fire, intent and a list of adjectives that could go on and on. The experience of being willing to be seen by the outside is to learn the mastery of self physically, mentally and psychologically. I want more mastery of self because it feels good and it feels calm and knowing. I want my boxers to also claim more mastery, so they may continue to achieve anything they want as they move on in life.
I don’t necessarily think you can only get the above feeling in the ring, but it is the place that made the most sense to me and led to greater levels of understanding as well as skill implementation.
Get out to the fights, support local boxers, pay attention to your daily experiences and be willing to share them with others.