Three years ago I climbed in a boxing ring in front of several hundred people in a charity boxing event.
It took some thought before I agreed to make that commitment, but the experience was a positive one.
Would you be willing to do the same? To give blood for charity in a boxing ring, rather than the conventional way?
Why did I do it?
I was approaching my 56th birthday and my dad had been 56 when he died of a heart attack. My dad was a “scrapper’ and I thought of him when I agreed to do this.
Like most people, cancer has touched many people that I know. I thought of those people when I agreed to do it.
I have always been a keen supporter of our community and saw this as an opportunity to show leadership. That too was on my mind.
So I agreed to get in that ring, and having been there, I thought I would share some thoughts on my experience:
1. It is a scary proposition. If you can conquer that fear, then it gives you a tremendous sense of satisfaction.
2. It is a big commitment of time … and yet these are incredibly busy people. To do this, they get even better at time management.
3. The training period for me was about 5 months. My only knowledge of boxing came from watching it on television! I had 5 months of personalized training in a new skill.
4. Boxing is a physically demanding as any sport, and to be able to compete you need to be in great shape. The 5 months of training supplemented by my own regular exercise regimen meant that I was in pretty good shape.
5. Any new endeavor means meeting a new group of people and I met some very dedicated and amazing people through the experience.
6. To put on an event like this is a huge endeavor and requires a leader willing to “make it happen”. Just being around people like that is inspirational … we boxers made a big commitment, the organisers are at an even greater level of commitment.
7. When you support any charity you get a better understanding of its impact, and meet people who have been affected. That is a humbling and rewarding experience.
8. I did not have it on my bucket list, but I am proud to be able to say, “I did it!”
9. The friends you make through an event like this are for life … because this is a relatively small number of like-minded people willing to make this kind of sacrifice, and that is a strong bond.
10. If you are a leader then it is your responsibility to give back, to lead by example and to help make our society a better place. This is a very public way of doing just that.
If you get the opportunity to do this, give it some serious consideration … it is a very challenging, yet rewarding, way to really give back!
PS. I lost my bout, but won in every other way!