I’ve come to appreciate boxing as an incredibly public manifestation of life. As brutal as boxing can be, so can life. Both require some art, some science, and all heart.
This past weekend, we attended a boxing match, where we watched several undercard fights before the main event. Regardless of whether a boxer was in the early stages of his career, or had a couple of dozen professional fights under his belt, all displayed heart. Before he earned the right to step into that boxing ring, each boxer invested in himself for years. Each day before, he had the discipline to train. Each day before, he had the mental toughness to quash his doubts and his fears. Each day before, he held onto the belief that his dream was possible.
Once a boxer stepped into the ring, he was on display in every way. The lean muscularity of his back and his abdominals revealed devotion to his training and his diet. The swelling above his right eye exposed his pain. His drive forward towards his opponent, despite his pain, revealed his determination.
And when that boxer stepped into the ring, his fears and doubts followed him in. But, he had to silence them as he fought from round to round, amidst the noisiness of the crowd and the occasional command from a spectator to “use your jab” or “knock him out.” Some boxers fought toe-to-toe with their fears and doubts, round after round. Some fighters skillfully ducked and then punched back before their opponent reacted. Other boxers were pummeled time and again, but then came back to land the fight-ending punch.
Each had heart. And for the fighter who lost, he knew he’d be back soon enough to battle, having learned from his defeat.