So a few weeks back I got the idea to do a blog series that goes into depth about some of the rules on our gym rules sign. While these rules are in no way original to Knockout, I think they each represent an aspect of our KO philosophy and deserve a bit more time and explanation.
Today I will start with my absolute favorite rule on the whole list… How you do anything in here is how you do everything out there.
This is so true it hurts…and actually it might sting a bit for real because the truth hurts. Years ago when I use to compete as an amateur boxer and started my blog (which is sadly now lost in cyber space) I wrote a lot about the connection between how you act in the ring being symbolic of how you live your life. In boxing you can’t hide from yourself. It’s just you and the other guy (or in my case girl) in the squared ring facing off. You can’t pass the puck to another player, there is no one else defending or blocking the opponent. It’s just you! And this creates a beautiful microcosm for your life. While there are many players in the game of life, when it comes down to the nitty gritty it’s simply you vs. you, just like in the ring. Yes your opponent is another person, but you yourself are your biggest opponent in and out of the ring.
I had to have this rule on the list because it sums up what Knockout and boxing is all about. Boxing is a lie detector; it keeps you honest, like I said you can’t hide. The way you act in your real life is how you will show in the gym and ultimately in the ring. And while my Knockouts don’t get in the ring and spar or fight, the bag and your partner holding the mitts will give you the same telling information.
I can tell a lot by the way a woman enters my gym, approaches the heavy bag and hits into pads. I can tell how she feels about herself, how she treats others, what her priorities are, how much she gets in her own way, where her head is at and more.
Here’s the deal…
If you are always distracted in the gym, you are distracted in your life.
If you are always late and don’t respect time in the gym, you do this same thing in your life.
If you don’t listen in the gym, you probably have a hard time listening in your relationships.
If you duck and slip well, you probably are good at defending yourself emotionally in life and don’t like to get “hit”.
If you can take a punch and it doesn’t phase you in the ring, you probably are cool with confrontation, maybe you are use to taking the “heat” for things, or always feel you need to be tough.
If you have to kill the bag, your partner as the hold pads and are constantly intense, you probably approach life with the same intensity and struggle to step back and be more calm and strategic.
If you are timid about punching the bag, you probably approach challenges with a lot of caution and might be unsure of yourself.
If you are non-stop with punching regardless of coaches telling you to slow down, you probably don’t like the silent, calm moments in life or having to slow down to move forward.
If you have a hard time taking your training seriously or goof off in the gym a lot, you probably don’t take what you do out of the gym very seriously.
What you do in my gym or any gym is a pretty damn close match to how you show up in life!
When I was fighting I was notorious for being a machine. I was aggressive, dominating and attacked my opponent head on. While this helped me win fights, it wasn’t always the best strategy against a more experienced boxer, so could strategically overcome my aggression. I needed to learn in the ring and life to attack things from angles and have more finesse. This straight on attacking of things in and out of the ring wasn’t always working for me.
Boxing and training can tell you a lot aobut yourself. Don’t think you are just late to the gym, let’s get real here you are showing up late in other areas of your life. Don’t think that the gym is the only place you can’t focus; you know you feel scattered outside the gym as well.
It can be a hard pill to swallow to be brutally honest with yourself about your behavior, but it’s the only way to improve yourself in and out of the gym. I am not trying to beat you up by saying all this, I just want to you take a look at how you show up in the gym and use that information as a way to up your game in boxing and life. Many times in my life I’ve had to have a “come to Jesus” with myself and get real, the alternative would have been a life of misery and frustration. I didn’t always want to see the things about myself I didn’t like, but once I took a look and realized being honest with myself opened me up to change I started analyzing everything I did. I didn’t analyze myself with a judgmental eye, but a curious one. I would simply ask myself things like “Why do I have an attitude with this person?” or “Why do I perform better in the gym under X circumstances?” of “Why am I no showing up on time here?”. The answers will give you the information you need to begin challenging yourself to be a better person.
Remember how you do anything in the gym, is how you do everything in life. Pay attention to how you show, act and perform in the gym and you will be on your way to better results in the gym and in life. If you are up for the challenge boxing will teach you a lot about yourself and push you to become the best version of yourself you can possibly be! (side note you don’t have to get bloodied up in the ring to reap the benefits of boxing!)
Jessica Storch, MA is a boxing coach, personal trainer, health coach and owner of Knockout Women's Boxing Club in Westmont, IL. Her mission is to empower women to be their best through the sport of boxing. She promotes a health focused mentality and encourages women to let go of the diet mentality. Jessica believes weight loss doesn't equal health and works with women to support them in building healthy lifestyles and happy lives.