Lessons for and from the Gym


Life Lessons from Boxing

I know that part of it is just my skewed perspective, but most of what I experience in life, I either draw a parallel to what happens in boxing or to my own time in the gym. So, it occurred to me today, mid-way through my work-out that even though I know that changing up your routine is crucial to continued growth and improvement, that unless you're making conscious choices, in some form or fashion you're probably gravitating back towards the exercises and movements that are most familiar to you. You inevitably fall back into “known territory.” The neuro-pathways in the human brain are so engrained that, unless you make a thoughtful, concerted effort to "change it up", you or I will naturally revert back to what is comfortable, even if it's not best for us.

This isn't necessarily a new revelation for me. It's absolutely a fact I've known, talked about and experienced before, but for some odd reason it took on more clarity today. If that's the case with something so intentional and measured, like a training session, then how often am I doing that in everyday life? How about you? How often DO us all do that in our own lives...make unconscious choices on auto-pilot...ones that are not in our best interest! In spite of knowing better, that our well-being and growth is dependent on breaking out of life's routine, we still tend to go back to what is most familiar, comfortable or "easiest."

Be sure that when you walk in the gym, you are not phoning it in just because it feels like it should be working. Continually ask yourself while you’re in that moment, “Is this all I’ve got? Is this the best approach? If I try this in a different order will I get better results?” Growth comes from change, big and small, so don’t be afraid to question everything. It might mean more work or require more thought, but if the hours you spend in the gym are the same no matter what, why not get the most out of them. You can spend three minutes BS-ing on the bag and getting little benefit, or you can invest the same three minutes, focusing, applying full effort, using your brain and getting better. Both three minutes have 180 seconds in them, but when it’s over you’ve either spent them unwisely or invested them in self-improvement.

This also goes beyond the gym because I'm not just talking about "going one more round" or "banging out one more rep." I'm talking about doing things differently for better results, just by making conscious choices. Without clear ideas and the willingness to THINK our way through life, just like I was not-thinking my way through my own workout, we're likely to get sub-standard results, even though we've put in the same amount of time and effort, just less intentional thought.

You don't have to live to go to the gym or go to the gym to live, but there are some amazing life lessons to be learned there.

LESSON: Live life intentionally. Even if it requires more thought, effort and desire, your results will pay bigger dividends. There is a time to just float down the river, letting the waves and current move you along while you relax.  BUT if you want to ARRIVE, then pick up the paddle and steer your boat to exactly where you want to go.