For those that don’t know I recently took part in a charity boxing event - around 20 participants prepared for 10 weeks while raising money in the lead up to the event. We managed to raise a colossal £40000 which will be used to renovate the Meteba medical centre in Ngaba, Congo. Many of us (including myself) had never boxed before so there was a lot to learn and it was amazing to see how much everyone improved in just 10 weeks. Each bout was 3 2-minute rounds, here are the highlights from my fight:
Now, my game plan was to pace myself and save the aggression for round 3… As you can see the adrenaline took over and in a non-stop flurry of punches, I managed to tire myself out by round 2 making it hard for me to defend and resulting in the ref calling off the fight. I was obviously disappointed with the result but on the plus side I’ve helped to change the lives of thousands of less fortunate people alongside a remarkable team of individuals; there was a huge amount of respect and positivity amongst everyone that took part and I’m glad to have met each one of them!
My reason for writing this post is to expose a more personal battle that was won by my mere participation in this event, something that I wouldn’t have done previously. Throughout my life I had only ever pursued things that I’m good at or was sure I’d win. This I believe was due to a fear of failure and the subsequent embarrassment that I thought would harm my image, which I had learned to cling onto so dearly. There are probably hundreds of missed opportunities that I could have seized, had I chosen to push past this barrier.
Fear it seems, along with the image my ego had created to be “cool” was preventing me from being complete, limiting what I was willing to experience. Over the past year I have chosen to deconstruct this restrictive aspect of myself and by stepping into that ring I won the battle with striking symbology. When I joined my friends and family after the fight I confirmed that I have nothing to be embarrassed about, I am free to do whatever I want without fear or worrying what people think. I sincerely believe that the further we go outside of what’s comfortable or “safe”, the more we learn about ourselves.
What would you do if you weren’t scared? It could be anything from talking to that girl/guy you like to a sports event or starting some sort of project. The point is that all too often we let fear or doubt stop us from doing something that could change our life or help us to grow. I was at a circus show recently called La Soiree and between the acrobatics and outragous humour one act caught my attention. A gentleman (dressed in a suit and bowler hat) was creating some impressive structures using bubbles and his commentary was surprisingly thought provoking; he accurately suggested that at one point in our lives we have all had a fascinating experience with bubbles (often as children), they have a fleeting existence and maybe that is why they spend their short lives bringing wonder and joy.
To me it seemed as if this man was telling us why he became an entertainer; our earthly life is finite, so using this time to give something valuable to others is an admirable and rewarding decision. At the very least we should endeavour to experience the full spectrum of what life can offer us and not let fear, doubt or the opinion of others get in the way. So, I challenge you to do something that scares you and see where it takes you… Perhaps exactly where you need to be?