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I recently committed to a charity event that could see me in a boxing ring on March 26th, 2011 taking part in the Fight for the Cure. This is an event to raise money and awareness in the real fight ... against cancer. Part of the "entertainment" will be three "white collar" boxing matches that will see some senior Ottawa executives trying out their new found boxing skills.
I have been "in the program" for a few weeks now, and a typical week sees me in the boxing club once a week for one-on-one coaching with one of the main sponsors of the event Matt Whittaker from Final Round Boxing. Also once a week I attend a "conditioning camp' with Pat Woodcock from Elite Performance Academy. In between I try to keep my own routines going, on the spinning bike or elliptical trainer. It hasn't taken long to see differences ...I am learning new skills and feeling more comfortable in a ring sparring with an opponent plus this old body is getting a little harder already.
So, as I was lying in my epsom salts bath last night after a particularly gruelling session with Matt (I didn't say it was easy), and was reflecting on the experience to date I was thinking about how this experience applies to the rest of my life.
Here are some random thoughts:
1. There is a tremendous sense of accomplishment when you learn new skills and start to be able to demonstrate them. Obviously I am not even at the novice stage yet, but it feels good to be able to move a round the ring throw some punches and defend against punches. That translates to any new skill ... a new language, a new way of "selling", a better understanding of technology, or any life skill. Learning new stuff keeps us interested and alive!
2. We are all capable of doing more than we think ... and I have been particularly impressed with the value of a coach. Not something i have really "valued" in the past, but having someone encourage, push and help you really makes a big difference. Good managers can give their people that same kind of boost ... if they are willing to take the input!
3. There is an old saying that people fall into three camps ... those that make things happen., those that watch things happen and those that wonder what just happened! It is far more fun to be the one making things happen... it can be a little scary, but its amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. Which of course brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from the movie Braveheart, "Everyone dies, not everyone TRULY lives!"
4. I lead a busy life, but have been able to fit this extra commitment into my routine ... if something is given enough priority then you will find a way to do it.
5. There are a ton of interesting people in the world and you meet them by getting out there ... sometimes getting outside your comfort zone is a great way to meet new people.
6. People are impressed when they learn you are doing something that they consider to be tough ... and that is good for your self esteem, it makes you feel good about yourself!
So ... its almost 2011, make yourself a "resolution" to do something new in the new year and see what it does for you!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)