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Confessions of a Collegiate Boxer: what boxing taught me about life and why it’s a sport for anyone with heart

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Photos by Karina Chang @untofire

It seems fitting for the first post of this blog to shine a light on the sport that created the “fighter” part of A Fighter’s Fashion. Yet how do I begin to talk about something that came into my life two years ago but has since then so solidly become a part of my identity?

Long story short, I’ve created a list of ten things I learned from boxing that extends beyond the sport and why I would recommend it to any determined individual. Full disclosure: the list consists of MY truths as a woman in boxing and someone who picked up the sport a mere two years ago.

1. Facing your fears in the ring helps you face it everywhere else. If there is anything I take away from getting punched in the face, it’s that in the face of fear, having a calm and aware mind will always help you. Humans are highly adaptable and the risks in boxing give you the practice you need.

2. Be honest with yourself. When you’re in the ring, there is no way to cheat yourself. What you put in will show, to you and everyone else. In boxing and in life, knowing and acknowledging exactly where you stand will help you figure out how to get even better.

3. Own your fierceness. First off, if you don’t do it, who will? Stepping into the ring and the hours of practice outside of it has given me the confidence to call myself a fighter, both in the sport and in life.

4. Sometimes, progress isn’t tangible. Sometimes, progress feels like stepping backward. No matter what, you just gotta keep going.

5. No one is “too pretty to fight”. Seriously.

6. There are going to be a lot of people who’ll tell you to give up or that you will never be able to do something because you are too (fill in the blank). Find the self-awareness to figure that out for yourself.

7. Surround yourself with strong people because they are the best partners to help you push yourself. For me, it was easy because the boxing community is full of ‘em.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and never let pride get in the way of progress.

9. Things often aren’t as bad as they seem when you take yourself out of that mental and physical space. Sometimes, all you need is a good sweat and some alone time with the bag. However, one of the biggest misconceptions is that boxing is a great way to get aggressive and take out your frustration on something. I’d say it’s pretty much the opposite. Usually, it is the most frustrating thing in my life, but the focus is what helps me get out of my head.

10. Last but not least, the greatest amount of growth happens between the last one you do, where you think you can’t do anymore, and the next one you do. Never stop challenging yourself.

For those of you who are on the fence about trying boxing, I hope this list gives you the push you need to join this amazing sport. For my fellow fighters, I’d love to know if this resonates with you in one way or another. For everyone else, I hope this was entertaining or enlightening, or both!

Stay fierce,

Viv