My Boxing Experience | Teen Ink

My Boxing Experience

November 13, 2018
By Maiwenn.J GOLD, Tirana, Other
Maiwenn.J GOLD, Tirana, Other
17 articles 0 photos 1 comment

This year I joined boxing class. It was an optional class to take, and it was my first choice from the list. If you don't know me well, I am a very active person, who believes that sports frees your mind from stress and daily problems. I started joining cross country and soccer. I later on added swimming and basketball to the list. It helped me feel free from my problems and to find my passion for sports. This year was a new chapter, a new school year, and I was ready to start a new sport.

Our first boxing class was exciting. My friend Lea and I were the only girls in the class. We got to learn our first punches and the stance to use. I still didn't have the hang of it, but I felt happy with the decision I made of choosing boxing class. After about a month, things were getting more intense. Mr. Vernon our boxing teacher, made us work hard and sweat. The boxing pads were my favorite, but my punches weren’t strong enough. Every boxing class I remembered how Mr. Vernon would say, “Boys pay attention, don't fool around, girls tend to pay attention and learn faster, so I advise you to listen.”

I would always think of that when I needed some motivation. After more practices we learned how to punch in 6 different ways, the boys were improving a lot on their strength, and Lea with her speed, and me? Well, I had a hard time seeing the difference. Mr. Vernon would always tell me that once you practice and practice you get stronger, which also helped motivate me to continue.

Each practice there was at least one boy who would tease me and say, “Oh you're too short to box, Mr. Vernon has to bend down when you are on the boxing pads, oh you’re not strong enough, you punch like a mouse. What was that punch Maiwenn?”

I know those comments were not to hurt me, but just to tease and have fun. It’s true I’m a small and short person and I did lack confidence; but, hearing those comments can either bring you down, or make you feel motivated to show them they are wrong. In my case, they started to discourage me. I didn't have the strength to think they were wrong, and a part of me thought that they were saying the truth - that I was not strong, and that I was too short. I hid it in me because I thought that showing that I was doubting myself would make it worse. 10 minutes before each practice was the time when we did ab blasts. I found them hard, but even harder when I wasn’t motivated and when I didn’t feel confident in myself.
After those practices, I realized I shouldn't be mad or sad, because they were just teasing me, and I had the strength to show them what I was capable of. Just because I'm short doesn't mean I’m not strong, I repeated to myself. I can show them that being short doesn't define me and definitely does not limit me from doing things tall or stronger people can do. I found the strength in me to show them they were wrong.

I remember one particular practice where I was mad and angry, and my punches suddenly felt stronger and faster. I was surprised, yet I had a feeling in me that it was there all along, I just didn't have that rage and anger in me. After practice, Lea and Mr. Vernon pointed out that I was getting stronger and better, which really made me feel more confident in myself and showed me that what the others were saying about me was wrong.

A couple of practices ago, I remember a classmate named Gledis telling me that I was not strong and reminding of the connotation I had with a mouse. I told myself that he won't discourage me this time, because I'm stronger than what he thinks. I simply replied, “Yes you are right, I might not be as strong as you in boxing, and some of my punches need improvement. You would probably knock me out in a second if we were to fight, but I also know that I am stronger than you in other sports, and being short doesn't define me as being weak, it empowers me.”

I felt motivated and happy after what I told him. I had finally found the strength I needed. I felt stronger. The following practices, Mr. Vernon was impressed with my hooks and uppercuts, because they were getting powerful. Yes, I had to practice on my jab and cross, because they were still weak, but overall I was proud of myself and the confidence I gained.
This experience taught me that boxing requires a lot of work and effort, but it also taught me to not feel discouraged about what people say. If you focus on your strength and improve on your weak ones, there is no reason for you to feel discouraged. Boxing taught me how to fight, and defend myself physically and mentally, and show that short girls can do anything if they have the motivation and strengths to prove people wrong.

The author's comments:

My advice to people who join a new sport, is to not discorage yourself and never give up becuase of what people say.

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