Movement is medicine. When I was younger, I did not realize that the concept of movement is medicine was being deeply engrained into my mind. You see, both my parents are extremely active. They walk and hike everyday. My Dad does his stretches and small weight exercises. My Mom has always cooked everything from scratch and cooks wholesome foods. I am very thankful to have that example they set for me. I realize now, not a lot of people in society have not had that foundation to start with. However, movement did not help with my emotional and depression issues that came up in my teens and especially my early 20’s.
Before the age of 12, my parents put me into different sports related activities. Nothing really stuck until I was 12. At 12, I began competitive swimming at the National level. 5- 6 days a week, usually 2 hour practises at a time, sometime 2 practises a day, I swam and trained for competitive swimming, until I was 17.
Then I moved out on my own and shortly after, started College. I got into kickboxing for 3 years and had a few competitions. Yet, somehow, I would always would be dealing with depression, self doubt, low self esteem and at really dark moments, suicidal tendencies. The short end of it, I felt lost and very alone.
Then those unexpected life changing events happened. At 22, I got pregnant. Unexpectedly, and what seemed like a major shocker, what the heck was I going to do? At first, I thought the best course of action, was to figure things out with my sons father. Nope! Bad idea. Without getting into details and a darker story, lets just say he was emotionally abusive, and borderline physically abusive. For the health of my unborn child, I knew I had to leave him and do the whole parenting thing on my own. On my 23rd birthday, I sat in the Barrie court house, and filed a restraining order against my sons father.
In the 3 days I had left him; I received 60 phone calls (all of the phone call where not just from him), he showed up uninvited to my Dr’s appointment, then to my friends house and when I would not let him in, he attempted to try and get in through the door and windows. He finally left because I had called the cops. It was non stop harassment in 3 days. Clearly, it was not stopping. The option advised; was to get a restraining order. So, yup, on my 23rd birthday there I was alone sitting in the court house. I remember the tears trickling down my face, as I was waiting for the paper work to go through. Once he was served with the restraining order, things got better. He already had a history with the law, and was somewhat smart enough to understand, that if he broke the order, it add more charges to his record.
Yet, when someone has severely harassed you and you have caught them still stalking you from afar, there is never really a feeling of safety. Just to feel some sense of security, I would sleep with a hammer under my bed.
Fast forward a year, my son was born, and I made the decision to move back home. This decision felt best for him; to have family support. Then after his first birthday, my son was diagnosed with Hemophilia B. Hemophilia B is a rare, potentially life threatening blood disorder. WHAT THE FUCK?! Was my thought, along with emotional shock. Hemophilia is usually a genetic condition, passed down the Mom’s side of the family. No one (that I knew of) had any genes of these kind, on any side of my family. Needless to say, I was pissed, freighted, angry and felt stuck with a sense of helplessness, with what life was dealing me. Being a soul parent, felt hard enough already, NOW THIS!!! I did not spiral at first, but slowly, I drank to cope.
Not good. One night out partying with friends, I ended up getting into a physical confrontation. Short end of that story, the end of that night, did not make 3 women very happy. With my kickboxing background and my anger issues, those 3 women, left bloodier than when they arrived. After that, I was like “oh boy!” I have some serious anger and frustrations that need to be processed. I had done therapy a few times, and knew that was only a band aid solution. I needed a regular outlet. I went back to the gym to get back into kickboxing. It was in that gym, that a boxing coach, Scott Eccles, introduced me to the form of Olympic Style boxing. Scott, let me know there would be a lot of opportunities to compete in boxing, instead of kickboxing. He was right! My competitive athletic spirit was in love. My soul knew that this was the channel to make myself better, and be a proper role model for my son. I did not want to be seen as an angry alcoholic mother, I was afraid I was turning into.
Like anything in life, when you really want something, it does not come easy.
If it came easy, it would not make you stronger. Boxing not only makes your stronger, IT makes YOU TOUGH! I don’t just say that because I am biased. I say it, because it is true. Boxing, has been rated the toughest #1 Olympic Sport by ESPN.
What does that mean as an athlete and fitness lover. Well, first, boxing uses your anaerobic and aerobic systems. Essentially you are working your strength, power and cardio when you train. Therefore, you shed fat (of course proper nutrition is also UBER important), while getting stronger and leaner. However, boxing is not just about your physical aspect. Boxing breaks you down; emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. I know it does not sound so appealing. Yet, remember, when you are building something to last, you have to have a strong foundation. If your foundation is weak, you gotta get to the bottom of it, and make it stronger. Boxing, does all of those things. When you train to step into that ring, all your stuff comes up. Its like a roller coaster of emotions. Essentially its therapy, with a lasting physical and psychological affect. It has been said and it will continue to be said, boxing saves lives. Now, when you ride that roller coaster and follow through with your boxing goals, you come out on the other side, a transformed person. A person with the kind of swagger who walks into a room and knows they can do anything.
In 12 years, I had 45 Amateur Fights and 2 professional. I still box to this day, just not competitively anymore. I coach it. I live and breath all the lessons boxing has taught me. I work every day to pass those lessons on, to my clients and everyone I come into contact with. Want to develop real focus, strength and toughness? Get into boxing!
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