The Four Corner Strategy

When I joined Griffins, a coach told me that the mental game is way more exhausting than the physical and I shrugged that off, mainly because I didn’t understand what it meant.  While I’m by no means training to the same level as a lot of the boxers at the gym, I’m starting to feel the weight of training, on top of my everyday life.

It’s funny how the people around me compare the 2 sides of my life, almost put them up against each other to try and see which I’d prefer or which is worst.

The other day at work, a group of my coworkers asked me “How do you find the time and energy to go to boxing at the end of your day?”,  I smiled and said “Lately, I have more trouble finding the energy to go to work!”.  I’m not sure my boss would like to hear that 😉 I also had a big presentation at work this past week and I was incredibly anxious, which is pretty rare for me 🙂  Steve said, “What’s worst, giving this presentation or getting punched in the face?”.

This past month I’ve found to be so taxing on my mental game, which in turn impacted my health (2 rounds of the flu, I currently sound like Barry White as I type this). It’s hard you know, when times at work are challenging and you leave to go to boxing and you’re not excelling at that either, where else do you go to refuel?  To find the energy to pour back into your efforts?

All I can say is thank god for Steve and other supporters who make sure I go to class, or complete that project for work.

I guess it’s times like this when you really have to celebrate the wins.  Like passing my boxing test and joining the green crowd 🙂

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Now, despite me looking exhausted in that photo, I was completely at the top of my game.  I only told a handful of people I was taking the test Monday because my body and my mind have been wavering so much I didn’t want to set myself up to disappoint my supporters.  But my body completely fought through the flu that had been coming back and I barely broke a sweat in the first section of endurance.  I couldn’t be more proud.  I found myself flashing back to my test to get to yellow and remembering how I was drenched in sweat and out of breath, this for me was the biggest win of all.. an improvement on my strength and stamina.

Hardest part of the test?  The 90 seconds of tossing the heavy bag at a 45 degree angle, oh god my arms.

How did I do on technical?  Definitely not as clean as my private class I had taken the week earlier (likely the nerves) but only 1 demerit!!! Another big win 🙂  And coach Nick said my hook has improved soo much so I just need to keep practicing.

My favorite part of the test?  How hard Nick throws his hook when you have to block 🙂  Believe it or not, I love the feeling of someone hitting me hard.  It’s my favorite part of class but not a lot of the guys feel comfortable wailing on me (nor is that necessarily part of the class because we’re supposed to focus on technique).  This is the main reason I want to get to Blue.. or at least get some gear together so Kiersten and I can wail on each other in the privacy of our own gym 🙂

The sad part about getting my green… only taking one class since passing!!  Ugh, this flu has really taken me down. Hopefully I’ll be up to class starting Monday.

Things I’m changing up for the next couple of months:

  • Moving to 5 boxing classes a week (from 4).  I’ve taken out my one day a week at Club 16 to accommodate this.
  • Bumping up yoga to twice a week (from 1).  I’m so uptight and sore, I need a way to just let it alllll out.
  • I’m going to start a meditation pack on sports (Headspace, best meditation app every, even for skeptics like me!!) The pack is designed to help you reach peak performance and experience the benefits of mindfulness for focus, competition and recovery.  I think this will help me loosen up.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about extending my 8 weeks of healthy eating/drinking to February (basically doubling my commitment).  I don’t know if I’ve lost weight since I haven’t jumped on the scale, but my clothes are looser, people have started commenting on me looking a little leaner, and other than me catching the flu twice this month, I feel overall better. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t think about booze anymore?!  I’ve brought my family shame. 😦

 

Last thing for the day, I found this amazing article about boxing psychology with a great diagram:

boxing-science-four-corners

I just love this… and I feel like it really brings to light all of the things I’m trying to work on all at once which may make people realize how much is really going on in my head.

  1. Technical Ability:  This is all brand new, steep learning curve.
  2. Tactical Awareness:  Oh man I have barely made a dent in this but it’s a big part of green, introduction to ringmanship.
  3. Physical Strengths:  I feel like I’ve made huge strides in this corner but a long way to go, especially in stamina.  A 2 minute round can feel like an hour.  A lot of the work on my knee through physio has made any of this possible. If someone would have told me that I’d be sticking needles in my body weekly to make sure I can bend my knee, I would have told them I’d rather quit the sport.  Now I’m begging for more needles so I can go to class.
  4. Mental Strengths:  An area of focus.  I am the queen of motivation and discipline but confidence and self-belief are falling behind.  Hopefully my meditation efforts this month will help me channel my focus and stay calm.

Next post should be coming up within the next week or so with some of my new green skills.. shovel hooks and upper cuts 🙂

Wish me luck.

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