There isn’t much sweet about the science of boxing. Whoever coined it the “sweet science” clearly had one too many pops, not jabs, because my hypothesis is that they meant to dub it the “sweat science.”
I put on gloves in 2012 after I finished playing hockey at Middlebury because I was seeking something that could satisfy my need to compete while maintaining a reasonable fitness level.
One thing that my coach (Beaney) always emphasised was the importance of deliberate practice and never taking short cuts. In sport and in life the pain of a shortcut plagues potential. When we refuse to challenge ourselves, we stifle our opportunity for growth.
Anyone can put on boxing gloves and hit a heavy bag.
How many can hit a heavy bag and enter a deep state of consciousness whereby they’ve transformed their brain to simulate a real-life situation where the bag has a face and two lethal hands which are intent on returning damage?
Recently, I’ve found myself visualizing that the bloke I’m fighting is myself. Freckles, butt chin—the works. I transform the image of a stuffed leather sack into a mirror and look within. When I'm fatigued I remind myself that most humans quit at 45%. In taking up the sport, I’ve learned more about myself than I ever intended—it’ not for the faint of heart.
I’m weak; I’m not tough, strong, nor am I brave. At the end of every session I’m brought to my knees and I love it. I’ll keep going back for more. I love being around like-minded individuals set out on a path of self-exploration and general well-being.
If you want to self-audit your strength, spirit and resilience then I challenge you to walk into a boxing gym and take some classes. Good luck and stay positive but also be honest with yourself and who you are and where you’re at in your development. Don’t let who you are today dictate who you plan on becoming.