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Life-Long Lessons Learned from Boxing

By Alison Turnbull,

Delivery Manager at Eagle

This post is a follow-up to the one I had published back in February describing an upcoming event that I was fortunate enough to be selected for - the annual Fight to End Cancer. As I mentioned back in February, starting this adventure was about as far outside of my comfort zone as one could get. In six short weeks I will be stepping into a boxing ring at a Black Tie gala in front of over 500 people to compete in an Olympic style boxing match.

When I look back at my previous post, it's hard to believe it has been only two months because those two months have taught me more than I ever thought possible.

If there is one thing I want to share from this, it's the recommendation to everyone out there that no matter how old or how 'stuck in your ways' you feel, you will benefit greatly from committing to something that requires physical and mental endurance. Here are some of the key lessons that I've learned over the past eight weeks:

1 - HARD WORK PAYS OFF! You must commit yourself wholeheartedly to an event like this, whether it's a competition, a tournament, a marathon or a sprint. There will be days when the last thing you feel like doing is training, but those tend to be the days when you leave the gym feeling like you are on top of the world. No one will put in the hard work for you, you have to just DO IT!

2 - FOCUS IS EVERYTHING! It took our coaches awhile to drill this into our heads. While there will always be time for socializing, chatting, and sharing a few laughs, the boxing ring is not that place! When you are actively training and/or sparring, it just takes one moment of your mind drifting to get clobbered. One well placed left hook that you didn't see coming is a quick reminder to keep your head in the game -- at ALL times! I have found that this has translated to other areas of my life and hope it's something that sticks.

3 - POSITIVITY IS KEY! When we started this adventure, we were told 'you will have your best days and you will have your worst days leading up to this fight.' There are definitely days when you feel overwhelmed with information and just plain exhausted. Keeping the cause (fighting cancer) and the end goal (getting into the ring!) in mind is key to getting through the tough training days.

I encourage everyone reading this post to challenge themselves to do something that you've always wanted to do or never thought you would -- and if there is a charitable focus attached to it, all the better. Our team is on track to meet our goal this year, which will mean over $1 MILLION has been raised in donations by this event alone for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation -- one of the top 5 cancer research hospitals in the world. As rewarding as this has been for me personally, the big picture is even better.

You can also watch the following news segment from Global News to find out more about the Fight to End Cancer and my inspiration behind wanting to participate in this amazing event.