The Joyful Anthology

Why I Rediscovered Boxing

I started boxing 19 years ago, when the sport was not as popular as it is today. It was at a  professional, gritty boxing gym and I was the only female among fighters in training. The fighters thought I was training for a role in a movie since it was unusual to see a woman fighting. The movie “Million Dollar Baby” came out six years after, and the sport gained recognition for women.

Fast forward to today, Victoria Secret models are boxing to get in shape and Instagram feeds are loaded with women boxing in sports bras rocking washboard abs. It’s true: boxing is an incredible sport for fitness. But more so, it offers incredible psychological, emotional, and intellectual benefits as well.

I’ve gone through phases of boxing since I started years ago. I recently took a four year hiatus from the sport. When my life coach suggested I get back into it, I said I didn’t feel like fighting. But what I realize now is that I was holding gnarly emotions in and suppressing those that needed to be released.

Boxing is a space for me to feel empowerment. It’s a place where I can release stress or any leftover anger that I still hold onto. With all the introspective work I’m invested in, I’m aware of emotions that need to be released, and boxing is a beautiful way to release them. I also feel an endorphin release that I don’t get from any other sport. It keeps me on my toes not only physically but mentally. There is great skill of hand eye coordination and remembering combinations while punching.  While I choose to move through the world with femininity and grace, it feels good to balance myself with my Arian warrior masculine energy as well. I’m feeling more connected to my younger tomboy inner child, which feels more authentic to who I am. Check out some more positives of the sport, below.

The Benefits of Boxing:

 Physical Benefits:
Boxing for fitness is high intensity interval training (HIIT) that creates an all over-body workout. Most importantly, boxing for fitness will make you physically stronger as well as aerobically and anaerobically fitter. Boxing is a complete workout for your cardiovascular and endurance systems as well as training upper body, lower body and core strength. Boxing for fitness is a brilliant workout for anyone of all ages and fitness levels. In just a few sort weeks your Cardio fitness will dramatically increase along with your strength and endurance.

A boxing fitness class engages all muscle groups for a total workout.  When you are using so many muscle groups in one exercise, you are generating greater energy consumption. More calories are being burnt. Boxing is perfect for FAT BURNING.

You can burn between 500- 650 calories in just one class! Just wear a heart rate monitor and you’ll see those calories burn.

 Emotional Benefits:

 Releases Anger
Boxing helps in ridding the anger you’ve nurtured for long. Your body becomes light with peace of mind after releasing stress while kicking and punching during boxing schedules.

Boxing keeps you determined as you research and learn new techniques to help in attaining your goals of losing weight or winning a match. With this ability, you can’t just easily quit even in other fields of life.

Stress reliever

Studies show that people who regularly attend boxing sessions are found to be happy and cheerful. Boxing training helps in relieving mental stress and anxiety. Boxing keeps you balanced while releasing the tension in your body. Your body releases phenylethylamine (a chemical found in chocolates) that helps improve your mood.

Improves Self-image

Boxing makes you feel empowered and you will find yourself standing up for yourself. As you learn to defend yourself, boxing provides you with more self confidence.

Mental Benefits:

Strength comes from overcoming resistance and adversity. In boxing, you will find resistance in your learning process, your fitness level and, of course, your opponent. It is one of the toughest sports to learn, according to an ESPN study, and you must be mentally strong especially when it seems like you will never “get it.” The fitness level of a boxer is unsurpassed by most athletes and to push yourself in that manner takes strength.

 Boxing for Athletes:

 Become a Better Athlete
The physical benefits of boxing will be revealed when you’re competing in other sports. Whether you play on a recreational level team or are a professional athlete, boxing will make you more explosive with your movements and build endurance. Boxing requires your core to work constantly. You will become faster with your hands and on your feet, and you can take those newly honed skills to every other sport you play. Basketball player Carmelo Anthony developed an interest in boxing and uses the skills he’s developed to enhance his basketball skills. Carmelo says that boxing helps his focus, hand-eye coordination and stamina. He also says that boxing is one of the best workouts you can possibly have. Coming from one of the best basketball players in the world, you might want to take note. Boxing is the sport that can make you a better athlete in any sport.


Boxing can help you live a fulfilled life with Joy. Boxing can help you find happiness by  reducing stress, creating great relationships, excelling at your career and becoming better at your recreational activity

photos by Christian Caroll

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