When I was little, I was in between being a team leader, and having the worst sportsmanship ever. While I led my teams in "repeat after me" cheering, I also kicked sand, threw my glove, or checked girls into the boards when things didn't go my way. I was pulled off the court, diamond, field, and ice many times over the years due to my poor sportsmanship. I would either get angry with my teammates for "sucking" or I would get into an altercation with the opposing team or refs.
In my early years of boxing, I remember thinking "This is the best sport ever!" I was the only one controlling the outcome (or so I thought). Throughout my amateur boxing career, I took home many gold medals, trophies, and best fighter awards. Losing was not an option, but was inevitable. I had over fifty fights, and lost a total of 9 fights.
At the end of my amateur career, I took three losses in a row. I remember being in the ring, aware that I was losing, and thinking, "I don't even care. Hurry up, and be over." I was mentally broken, and training with a heavy heart due to a toxic relationship that led me down a dark path. It wouldn't be until my third professional fight that I started to recognize a shift in my mentality, and confidence.
Throughout the last decade, boxing was a way for me to stay sane. It was one of the only things in life I had control over. It was one of the only things in life that made me feel alive. I valued what the sport had done for me, and there was no way anybody was going to take it away from me.
It seemed as though my relationship was taking pieces of me, but it was never going to take away boxing. Even if I was losing my fights, I was still in the ring, doing what I loved. Even in my last three fights as an amateur, I was proud of myself for training through tough times, and getting in the ring despite them.
I spent so many years feeling alone in this sport. Yes, I was working with coaches, and other boxers, but I did a lot of my training alone. I would never take anything away from the coaches who worked with me along the way, but I can say that I was never given the time and dedication combined until December of 2018. That's when everything changed.
I spent two years at a boxing club that became my home. In December 2018, for reasons I do not wish to discuss, I left. It devastated me. I would not admit how crushed I was to those around me, but I suffered (more than I let on) in silence.
My character, my name, and my dignity took a beating when I left. That's when my now coach took me under his wing and led me down a path that I will forever be grateful for. I did not know it then, but our time together would lead to confidence, success, teamwork, and loyalty. Most importantly, it led to a strong friendship.
I spent a lot of my time rebuilding myself in the gym, and outside of the gym. I dedicated my time to being a better Mother, friend, boxer and coach. I started coaching at Hamilton Fitness Academy, and I began to notice positive changes in all areas of my life. The more I surrounded myself with positive people, the stronger I felt inside. The more time I gave to others, the brighter my life felt.
As my fight in April approached, I had transformed from a broken boxer to a confident boxer. I realized something I never had before. It was who was behind me, and pushing me that got me to a place I had never been before. I was in a place of pure confidence. I owed that to all the people in my life who supported me, pushed me, encouraged me, and stood strong in my corner.
Winning my fight in April was one thing, but what I realized after my fight was much more valuable than a win on my record. For the first time in my life, I had a group of people who had my back. I had a coach who went above, and beyond to prepare me for a fight. Nobody had ever given me the dedication that he did. Having this realization was worth more than any win I ever had.
I remember being in the room hitting pads before my fight, and laughing to myself. I couldn't believe how confident I felt. I was used to anxiety, nerves, and doubt. It was always my heart that got me my wins, not my mind. This fight was different. My mind was sound, my heart was calm, and I was ready to go out there and have fun. And I did.
I recently started running long distance. Instead of listening to music while I run, I now listen to podcasts. The other day, I listened to one on how to achieve success, and happiness. Even Oprah Winfrey admitted to being her most depressed during the year she made the most money, which proves what I have been saying all along. What is success without happiness? So many people are successful, but they are unhappy while achieving it.
As I ran, I smiled ear to ear while I listened to this Harvard graduate talk about what real happiness is all about. To sum it all up, you have a higher chance at achieving happiness and success when you are sharing it with others, and not just looking for it for yourself. It's those who seek success on their own that are more likely to be depressed, while those who seek success together have a much higher chance at being happy and successful.
This specific podcast resonated with me. I am living proof that happiness is achieved when you have people to share your success with. When a win would've once been looked at as an individual success, is now something I look at as a team success. When a class I once coached would have been labelled as mine is now a class I label as "ours".
I have always recognized my teammates in boxing, but it wasn't until this year that I stopped looking at boxing as an individual sport, and I really started to see it as a team sport. I would not be where I am today without my team; my coach, the girls who get in the ring with me to help prepare me for a fight, my girls who come to class and lift my spirit with their positivity and strength, and my family who constantly supports all of my choices. You guys are my team, and I couldn't ask for a better one.
If there's anything I want you to take home with you from this blog, it's this:
Find your people. Be wise about who your people are. Choose people that are going to cheer you on, and shed positivity onto your soul. When you find these amazing people, make sure that you appreciate them! Show them your love, loyalty, and respect. Give kindness to others without expectations. The laws of the universe will not disappoint you.
Success should never be selfish. Success should want to be shared. When you become successful, do me a favour. Give back by sharing your success with others. Whether it's sharing your knowledge, or spending your hard earned money to give back to others in a way that helps another become successful, just do it! GIVE BACK!
Sharing is caring!
One of the things I learned this year is that success feels so much better when it's done together. It's so much better to celebrate each other's success than to jump up and down for yourself. Be successful together, and share your successes with each other.