How strong are you?

Have you ever wanted more for yourself? Have you ever thought to yourself “I would like to be the best me I can possibly be? I have thought this to myself many times. Enough times to where it was time to stop asking myself, and begin showing myself what I was capable of. Once that decision was made a new man was born; A man fully ready and committed to change what I was once accustomed to. Ready to change my body for the best, and most importantly, ready to change my life and perspective as person.
Complacency is not an attribute of my character. I believe that one must continue to strive for more than what has been presented as a way to deviate from a stagnant lifestyle. There are too many things in this life to try, and experiences to learn and grow from. If you are learning, you are growing. No matter if you are an adult or adolescent, you are never too old to grow. I realized that through hands on experience with a few things in my life.
I was 21 years old when I joined my first boxing gym. At that period in my life, I was going through typical young people struggles which included pressures at work, school, and with family, and I felt like boxing would be a good way to handle the ocean of stress, I felt I was drowning in. I wanted to do something for myself that made me happy, and not something that I was required to do because it was expected. I wanted something that I could honestly appreciate, and improving my physical appearance, and developing a strong body through exercise was the way to go. I believe a strong body is something that everyone deserves, and can eventually lead to a strong mind, and strong will.

I soon realized, that a strong body, mind, and will, were three things that I was searching for; however I just didn’t know where to look, or how to go about getting started. I only knew that I wanted those things, so I started with transforming my body and decided to go to the gym. At first, I didn’t know why type of gym I wanted to invest my time into, but I felt a conventional gym was not it. I wanted something that was going to benefit my life in the long run, and boxing seemed to be the option that made the most sense. I believe it would help mold my mind and body, and build my confidence overall.
After collectively gathering my research on local boxing clubs, I took the initiative, and marched into gym, and signed myself up, and began to change my life from that point forward. I walked into the gym humbly knowing that I knew something’s but also knowing that I knew nothing. I quickly learned that street fighting and boxing were two completely different forms of art. I learned how to defend myself against someone who was experienced in physical combat compared to someone who was actually skilled in the art of fisticuffs.
Just because you may have had a couple of fights in the street does not mean you are ready to approach someone who trained in the ring regularly. Remembering my first day of training in the boxing ring still makes my body ache. There was a lot of running, jumping, slipping punches, throwing punches, dodging, foot work, corner work and moving around the ring, which was exhausting.
All of this activity was completed in three hour sessions, five days a week. This because my regular training schedule, and I loved it. I learned so much in those sessions, much more that I could have ever anticipated. Originally, I walked in wanting to make my left hand stronger,

and being able to hit harder, never expecting that was the least of my lesson. I found so much good information was passed from everyone. All parties including the coach and fellow boxing partners, shared information freely and were willing to teach anyone who was interested in learning and, I found it to be a very healthy learning environment.
The gym provided the reassuring feeling and atmosphere that this is where champions were born, and although everyone in the gym felt this way, none of the members felt the need to speak about it. After months of studying, sparring, and intensive training it was finally my time to show what I had been working so hard for, which was my first fight. This was the moment that most fighters couldn’t wait for. The pressure was intense and I can remember feeling nervous, anxious, and weak, eager, but most of all ready, and at the same time not exactly sure what I had gotten myself into.
In the back of my mind, I knew I was ready. Considering all of the training I had received there was no possible way that I wasn’t ready for this moment. It was my time, and I was going to make sure that I took advantage of every minute, and every second of each round. My coach was in my corner reassuring me that I was ready for this, and reminding me that I had trained harder than my opponent, and that he was not ready for me. Before I knew it, the bell rang “Ding Ding” and the first round had begun.
The first punch had been thrown followed by a jab from my opponent, but he missed. I knew from prior training that he was trying to keep distance between us, so I backed up and put more space between us, so that he would have to come towards me to connect. As he moved forward, I threw a jab and let him know that I was no one to mess around with. He took the

punch and I knew by his facial expression that I have physically hurt him. When I realized that all of the eagerness and anxiousness was gone, my focus and determination was present and then the fight really began.
The fight lasted exactly three rounds. In my mind I felt like it was a close decision but to the referee and the crowd, it was an easy choice as I was selected the winner. The shock factor I was feeling as one of pride, because I knew how hard I tried, and worked, and how much effort I put into learning something new that I was able to excel. It was such a beautiful feel, one that I would never forget. I was a winner not because I won the fight, but because I won the battle of internal conflict I was experiencing within myself, and there was the real fight.
In conclusion, I feel that learning is a beautiful thing. If you apply the knowledge you have received and use it properly to benefit yourself, and others, you have a chance to be successful. The fear of moving into new directions, and learning new things about yourself, and pushing yourself to cross line you never knew existed will disappear. However, it is still important to keep in mind that why you are learning you are not only receiving, you are creating the next steps to your destiny.
Being able to receive, perceive and recreate information to your understanding is a beautiful thing, one that we all should take advantage of if possible. Learning allows one to grow, and I am a firm believer that one is never too old to grow, no matter what age you are.