How Boxing Classes Became A Big Part Of My Soft Life— It Starts With Mindset!

Boxing is a combat sport that makes you a more disciplined, stronger, and tenacious person. 

Urmi Hossain On Why She Loves Boxing
Photo courtesy of Urmi Hossain | Design by BrownStyle Magazine

A friend of mine suggested I try boxing a few months ago, and it transformed my life. I was already experienced with Muay Thai, which is a form of martial arts, but I was looking for something new in my life.

At first, I was hesitant and intimidated by the idea as I know there are biases towards women wanting to participate in a combat sport. “Boxing is for men, not for women,” I heard in the back of my mind. Regardless of these voices, I was determined enough to break this stereotype. 

Walking In The Gym For The First Time

The first time I walked into the boxing gym, it felt like I was in one of those gyms that you see in a movie. It was an old school room in the basement of a building filled with very old-school decor. Posters of legendary boxers hang on the wall. There were worn-out leather punching bags and aged wooden floors. 

It was loud. The room was filled with the sounds of boxers hitting bags, skipping ropes, and constant yelling from the coach. 

Boxing Gym
Photo courtesy of Urmi Hossain

My First Boxing Lesson

My first impression walking into the gym for my first lesson? SCARY, yet SUPER THRILLING. I had no idea what to expect from my first lesson, but I was eager to get started. 

My instructor was very kind and understanding. He showed me all the basics and techniques. It wasn’t long before I was beginning to learn some defense techniques and sparring. 

The first lesson was both brutally exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. My full-body workout consisted of a 10-minute warm-up with a jump rope. Then we dived into 30-40 minutes of punching basics, defense techniques, bag work, partner drills, sparring, and cardio conditioning. I ended my workout session with a 10-minute cool-down.

Unlocking A Stress-Free Lifestyle With Boxing 

Since my first lesson, I decided to make boxing part of my weekly routine. Not only does it give me a boost of adrenaline and power, but it has also become a huge stress and anger releaser. It helps me to unwind, let go of stress, and make me feel emotionally stronger. 

I’ve done high-intensity workouts like HIIT and Bootcamp in the past, but nothing compares to wearing boxing gloves. I instantly transform into a warrior.

Boxing gloves
Photo courtesy of Urmi Hossain

What I Learned From Boxing 

Beyond its physical benefits, boxing can also enhance cognitive function and promote emotional regulation. 

In my opinion, boxing is a combat sport that can make you a more disciplined, stronger, and tenacious person. Below, find out the five things I’ve learned from boxing since I started last Summer.

1. You conquer fear. 

From my own experience, the moment I stepped into the boxing gym for the first time, I felt a sense of fear that I could not ignore. I soon learned that this fear is natural, which is what makes boxing such a powerful and transformative sport. 

Boxing challenges you to reach your fullest potential when you get out of your comfort zone. It creates a supportive environment where failure is not punished and allows you to confront fear in a controlled manner. 

2. You earn respect.  

Everyone who steps into the ring or joins a class earns respect, simply by their bravery. Boxing is widely regarded as one of the toughest sports and will instantly humble you. Even if you take a few hits, you will still earn the respect of those around you who overcame the same fears in the ring. 

3. You build strength and personality.

Boxing can help shape and strengthen your personality by providing valuable life lessons and tools for handling difficult situations. When facing challenges and constant fear in the ring, you have the opportunity to develop resilience and face your fears head-on. 

Rather than avoiding challenges, boxing teaches you to confront obstacles and rise above adversity. For instance, you stand up and punch back every time you get punched and fall. Boxing unleashes the tenacious person inside of you and keeps you fighting for your goals. 

4. You develop serious discipline and focus. 

Boxing serves as a powerful metaphor for success in life. To achieve success in this sport, you must motivate yourself, regulate your body and emotions, practice discipline, and work tirelessly to achieve your goals.

Boxing not only elevates your physical stamina but also enhances your mental agility. It sharpens your attention and enables you to focus and block out any external distractions. 

When you’re boxing, nothing else matters. You are fully absorbed in the moment, present with your body, and completely concentrating on every punching combination. Boxing is indeed one of the few disciplines that demand complete focus and presence of mind, making it a challenging mental and emotional experience. 

“It ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” 

-Rocky Balboa

5. You can relieve stress and anxiety. 

Boxing is a huge stress releaser. Physically hitting a punching bag immediately releases the tension and stress of the day. As you work out, you may also notice your focus is improved and your concentration is much better, which as a result helps you to forget why you were stressed to begin with. The more you punch, the more you are washing yourself of negativity you’ve been carrying on during the day. 

I truly believe boxing is a sport that every woman should try for all the benefits I have listed. I admit, it can be uncomfortable to step into the unknown, but it will pay off in the long run. 

Boxing teaches that if you want to win in a ring (or life), you have to keep working hard and enduring. The more you practice boxing, the more you will learn about yourself, become more confident, and most importantly gain a profound respect for yourself. 

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Urmi Hossain is Bengali by blood and Italian by birth. She works in the financial services industry in Canada, where she is currently residing. She is a blogger, speaker, polyglot, mentor, and self-published author of ‘Discovering Your Identity, A Rebirth From Interracial Struggle.’

Hossain is part of the organization called Women In Leadership for the Victoria Chapter in Canada as the social media lead. As an advocate of women's empowerment, she is also a promoter of self-investing and personal development. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and boxing.