Boxing brave!

vulnerability (1)

Three words for you to consider: anger, trust and vulnerability!

Three words that for many of us present huge problems and can cause life altering situations.

  • Anger can takeover your life, we become so blinded by it that we can’t think straight and can often end up “losing it” over the slightest thing. Anger at others and with ourselves can be so destructive.
  • Trust! A small word but something that plays such a significant role from an early age in our lives. Without trust in others and ourselves, doubt, fear and anger can creep in and consume our everyday thoughts. Trust once broken can be very hard to repair
  • Vulnerability is state that we can find ourselves in often through anger or lack of trust. We find that we are open to gossip, suggestion and doubt in others as well as our own capabilities.

I recently found myself in a situation where the trust I had placed in someone had been “misused”. This lead to mixed feelings of anger and extreme vulnerability. Anger in the sense of “how dare they” and vulnerability in the “who the hell can I trust now”. But the positive thing is I took some of my own medicine and re read my Blog featuring Brene Brown’s TED talk, and having talked out the issue, I realised I also needed to physically work it out. I needed to find a way to get rid of the anger, safely and securely but at the same time help myself to feel strong again! How to try to rediscover that trust and how to deal with the anger in a positive way, and then I remembered a previous session I had with GymGuyMark

So, off to the gym at Western Health and Racquets Club on Hyndland Road, a quick but tough 30 minutes on the treadmill, then up to the weights room where GymGuyMark had laid out the gloves, pads and exercise mats.


The first exercise we did had me kneeling in front of a pile of mats with this bad boy lying in front of me.


I had to lift it up, right behind my head and, using my tummy muscles, pull down and slam it onto the mats in front of me then punching it with alternate fists. Sounds violent doesn’t it? Well it did but I very quickly realised, when I finally did the movement properly, that all the pent-up anger and aggression was disappearing out of me and into the exercise I was trying to do. I was getting rid of all the stress, emotion and vulnerability in a controlled safe manner. It took me a while to get it right but with GymGuyMark’s expert help I think I was getting there. There were no violent thoughts or feelings in my head because I realised how much good physically and emotionally this was doing for me.

Once this was over it was gloves on time! Time to try to remember to keep that guard up, keep my elbows in and don’t let my arms flap about like a bird!


Learning to box properly is tough, you have to remember to do so many things and at the same time, relax. I found myself getting a bit frustrated because I kept tensing up but I still felt strong and was really enjoying the whole session. That is until GGM made me “shadow box” in front of the mirror and I realised that my so-called waterproof mascara wasn’t! Ever seen a sweaty panda in boxing gloves? It was a tough session but I have said it before and I will keep saying it, if you have a PT you can trust and one who knows you, taking on a challenge outside your comfort zone is do-able. GGM is a trained martial arts expert so there was no danger of me getting hurt and absolutely no way way of me landing a punch on him.

Perhaps the most important part of this session happened without me knowing it. GGM was trying to show me why I should keep my guard up, apart from the obvious one! He told me to throw a punch with my right then follow-up with a jab with my left, I dropped my guard for a nano second and felt this gentle but firm tap on my forehead! GGM had got me! But it wasn’t till I was walking home that  it dawned on me what had happened. I didn’t react to that “firm tap”. Normally that would have freaked me out, for reasons not for this Blog, and I would more than likely have gone straight for him but because I was more concerned with achieving my goal and because this was a safe,secure and controlled environment, it didn’t!

So when considering those three words of anger, trust and vulnerability, should we also think of control? How do we control each of them so that they remain safe and do not get out of hand? Perhaps it is looking at our own abilities and accepting that from time to time things will get beyond our comfort zone but like the wee boy in this picture standing at the top of the big hill on his skateboard, do we trust that we will stop in time or at least make a big splash when if we land in the water? Or do we put our skateboard under our arm and just go home? Me? I would rather get on the skateboard or put the boxing gloves on, life would just be too boring just to go home!






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