I started kickboxing about four years ago. I watched "Million Dollar Baby" with my best friend and decided that's what I was going to do. I had been very serious at that time about my fitness and health, but wanted something different. I went to a gym my friend, Bryan, had been going to and joined on the spot.
My coach, Eric, is probably the best coach I've ever had in my life. The lessons I learned in the ring in his gym have carried into my day-to-day life.
1) My body can do anything, I am enough.
I have never had the self-esteem that I should. I don't often believe I can do something because of my weight, height, being a woman, etc. In the gym, everyone is the same. You body and your mind can get through whatever you tell it to. Don't believe the voice inside you that says you can't. It's lying, it's not even your voice. Outside the gym is the same. You are enough. You can do whatever you set your mind to do. Find the best, learn from them and work your bum off.
2) Nothing comes easy, you have to work.
I didn't get "good" at kickboxing, or considered part of Team Haycraft without putting in hours upon hours of work. Everyday, twice a day, watching what I ate, watching other fights, run before and after workouts. Nothing comes easy. You have to work. You'll earn your ranks, you'll earn respect. All of that comes with work.
3). Work is hard. Growing hurts.
Going into a fight gym can be intimidating. Going into anything in life can be scary. It takes a lot of growing and trust. Sometimes I had to fake it until I got there. To get anywhere you have to grow, and it's painful. I remember the first horrible bruise I got at the gym. I got it from Eric. It hurt so bad, but I didn't give up. You can't give up when it hurts. The pain will cease, eventually.
4.) There will always be an obstacle.
Let's face it, my weight has always held me back in life and in the gym. Everything from relationships to stepping into the ring, I hide behind it. Not afraid really of what would happen, more so afraid to fail. Learning all of the ends and outs of kickboxing is daunting. Sparring is hard and frustrating at times. There's always something to overcome, whether it be your confidence or your strength, or your inexperience.
5) You will fail. Brush it off and learn from it.
My team has seen it's fair share of failure. Lost titles, bad sparring days, struggles with making weight, all of it. It's okay to fail, really it's okay. You are not defined by the failures in your life, you are defined by what you've done in spite of failing. Yes, I have fallen on my face, or been hit in the face. Several times. You can't live in the failure, or you'll never see success. If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. Get up and move on.
There's tons more, lots of little and BIG lessons in my four years. It has shaped who I am today and how I face everything in my life. I'm approaching 30, making a lot of changes in my life and holding these truths I've learned close. Especially as I punch and kick my way to goal weight and life goals.