Health, Wellness, and Boxing

Health, Wellness, and Boxing… Where do I begin? These words have shaped and defined a large part of my life over the past decade, and academically, over the past 6 years.

I was raised in a family that demonstrated and promoted healthy behaviors. My parents actually met at a gym, and they have maintained very healthy life styles ever since. Not to brag, but my Dad competed in several All-Natural Body Building Competitions and took the gold several times. Oh, and my mom has had eight kids (yep, eight), is fit-as-string and in better shape than I am.

My parents raised me on a ranch where being physically active was a lifestyle, and eating whole grain and veggies was a must. Since we were homeschooled, we really didn’t have the opportunity to be involved in team sports. But, nonetheless, we ended up getting involved in a sport when I was about 13 years old. My sister Chelsie (the oldest) saw a Martial Arts billboard and decided that we were going to start taking Tae Kwon Do lessons. Four years later the majority of my family members were black belts in TKD. Although I enjoyed TKD, and I was proud of being a black belt, I wasn’t really passionate about the sport. However, things were about to change for me.

One day, my TKD instructor announced that he had started a boxing club in his hometown. I remember him describing the workouts as being brutally hard, and causing grown men to vomit. I am definitely the type of girl that likes a good challenge, and this sounded right up my alley. I was too afraid to make the hour drive by myself, so I coerced my best friend to go with me. Let me just say, my coach wasn’t kidding about the workouts. We made it through the two hour workout… barely (and yes, a man did vomit that evening, so I was pretty proud I was at least able to keep my stomach). The next day my legs were sore…and two days later I could barely walk! I had never been so sore in my life. I was hooked.

I trained six months for my first fight. As you can imagine, on the night of my fight, I was a complete nervous wreck. I finally got a glimpse of my opponent; she was dressed in all black. Shoot, she’s going to kill me. Nonetheless, this fear and intimidation caused me to realize that I needed to give the fight every thing I had. This wasn’t some silly little sport – it was real life.

Health, Wellness, and Boxing

I have no clear memories of the six minutes I had in the ring, but my coach must have taught me right because it was my hand that the ref raised at the end of the match. From that moment on, for the next two years, I poured my heart into boxing and loved every moment of it. I competed in ten fights and I’m proud to say that my hand was raised at the end of every one of them.

Why did you stop? It’s quite simple. Boxing is something you can’t do half-heartedly, at least if you want to be good at it. You’ve got to give it your all. At the time I made the decision to take a break from training 20 hours a week, I was half way through under-graduate school, and I simply had to choose what I wanted to place more effort on–a hobby I loved, or my education.

Little did I know that I was making one good decision… Since my plate was a little less full, I had more time to socialize on campus and meet more people. And it just so happened that I ended up meeting my future husband during this time. I’m always amazed at God’s perfect timing.

Nonetheless, I took what I learned from my childhood and boxing days and applied it to where I was in life. After graduating from college and getting married a few months later, I went on to get my Master’s degree in Health Promotion and Wellness Management.

Due to my background in health, I’ve been wanting to make some sort of “health” section in my blog, but I’ve never known where to start. Well, I decided to write this post after asking myself the question… Why not start at the beginning?


5 thoughts on “Health, Wellness, and Boxing

  1. I love that story 🙂 I remember when you told it to me and Brooke that day we had coffee and it is one of the things that stuck with me about you, that you are a determined type of person who likes to push yourself to do the best that you can!

    • I remember the fight very well! Your aponant was much larger, stronger, and better trained. Everyone new it was not a fair match. You could tell she thought she was going to cream you, and by all appearances she should have. But she didn’t know the tiger inside my sweet little Amber. You wouldn’t stop slugging! No matter how hard she pounded on you, you just kept slugging back as fast as you could and plowing in as hard as you could. You didn’t give her a chance to breath, and she didn’t know what to do. You could see her asking herself, “why can’t I take her down? What’s wrong?” What was wrong was you were giving every ounce of strength an energy you had, and you weren’t going to stop until you dropped. When it was over she hung her head in shame and the crowd went wild!

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