My first birthday after losing my mom, I asked my husband for a unique birthday present. A punching bag. There was so much emotion that had built up inside of me, I needed a way to release it. I needed a way to unleash the fire that was burning inside me. Thus began my unconventional relationship with a punching bag and boxing gloves.
The relationship started off slowly. Occasionally, I would venture down to the basement and get in a few good hits. And oh did it feel good. And scary. To give my emotions, ALL of my emotions, permission to surface felt risky. What if I wasn’t able to stop after the flood gates were opened? And as time passed, I let the relationship fizzle. Then . . . COVID.
Reigniting the Relationship
My family and I found ourselves in a 24 day quarantine. Going to the gym was impossible. So there I stood, facing my unconventional relationship that I had neglected for a few years. My first go-around I nearly made myself sick. I walked upstairs and looked at my husband, uttering the words, “That was horrible. I almost died.”
Yet, a few days, later I somehow found myself back in the basement, boxing gloves on, listening to my YouTube trainer and repeating his words, “I’m not tired. I’m a bad a$%.”
In full disclosure . . . I am not always kind to my trainer. I may or may not utter a few expletives in response to some of his requests.
Each time I put my pink boxing gloves on, exhilaration fills me. Not because I’m on the road to becoming the next Laila Ali or an MMA fighter. No. I’m filled with exhilaration because as I hit the bag, it’s as though a switch is flipped inside me. A switch that says, I have permission to:
- Feel my emotions
- Fight back.
- Let it all go.
I envision the names of each lie as though they were written directly on the punching bag. The names of those things that have my heart pinned down. With each hit, I feel the glory of my strength rising up in me. With each hit, I feel more powerful. And with my last hit, I walk away feeling lighter.
The journey to loving myself. The journey to believing the truth about myself. It is a messy process. Many times I feel like I am taking two steps forward and ten steps back. Just when I feel like I have found a rhythm and am ascending to conquer the hill of lies, my foot finds the rock that is unsteady and down I go. But I am making the choice to get back up. Again. And again. And again.
How about you? Is it time to develop an unconventional relationship? Let’s dare greatly. Let’s fight to discover more of our true identity. To walk in more freedom of who we are. Above all, let’s be untethered from the lies and the accusations that want to keep us small and quiet.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”Theodore Roosevelt, The Man in the Arena