Within my first two weeks of boxing, I noticed some major changes in myself. Now that I'm a few months into my boxing journey, I've realized that these changes are incredible gifts that came from just trying to box and they have put my life on the right path. You don't actually have to be in fight to get these gifts. I believe that just attempting to do something so difficult will probably change your life.
1. Gratitude for your body
Like every woman I've ever known, I used to complain about my body. I've always tried not to, but sometimes it's just easy to hate your body. Boxing will actually force you to change this thought process. When you're boxing (especially as a beginner) you have to have so much mental focus on your technique and trying to protecting yourself, that there is literally no space in your brain for you to think about the size of your thighs or your soft mama tummy. By the end of your workout when you're standing in sweat you will feel grateful that your hands can protect your head, that your feet can get you out of the line of fire and that your whole body combined can be very powerful. You realize that your body allows you to do all the things you want to do and it deserves to be thanked every day.
Boxing will push you harder than you've ever been pushed both physically and mentally. But every day you train your hardest you will feel like the most amazing girl in town. After you've thrown 1,500 punches, jump roped for 10 minutes straight, done 100 push ups and sit ups, then finished up with a round of endurance burpees, you will know for sure that you can do hard things. Things that used to seem hard like cleaning the whole house, cooking a healthy dinner, and staying patient with a cranky toddler all day, now feel easy. I know that if I can box I can do anything.
3. Physical Strength
In my first boxing class I could do 3 push ups on my knees before I was trembling and nervous that I would collapse and break my nose. By the end of the week I could do about 25. After four weeks I knew I felt stronger but it was really apparent when my family told me I looked like a different person. If you can stay determined and consistent your strength will develop rapidly. The hard work will feel a little bit easier every day until you have as much strength and endurance as all the men that surround you.
My first boxing instructor is a professional fighter and he had a way of making everything look so easy. He would tell me to throw a jab with my whole body. Then he would demonstrate a jab on the heavy bag that would make the room shake. I think I had been boxing six days a week for two months (which adds up to about 50 hours of boxing) before he told me my straight punches were looking good. Frequently during those 50 hours of hard work I would get annoyed that I didn't have a strong and perfect jab. Staying patient is vital. You learn that when you get frustrated and angry in any situation you can't think straight and you won't get the job done.
Once you have enough strength and technique you'll actually start hitting people and consequently you will also get hit. The first few times you get hit, you freeze. You feel like there is nothing you can do except to stand still and get hurt while your trainer screams at you to move. After a while you realize that you have just as much control as your sparring partner. You can hit him back, you can trick him with fake punches, you can just get out of his way or you can call it a day and go home. You accept the fact that you are in charge of your life and that you can do whatever you want.