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Scared @#!*less

Posted by Amy Wilson on March 13, 2009

rocky-in-ringI’ve been referred to as brave. However, in my case, the term is typically reserved for things like a) continuing to drive my car despite the fact that the empty signal has been on for the last 50 miles, b) joining bank accounts with my boyfriend (now husband) a month into our relationship, or c) showing up at a conference in Eurodisney without actually having been invited.

Today, I witnessed some serious bravery and it was rather inspiring.

A boxing gym colleague, who started up a couple months before me and has a toughness quotient (TQ) about the same as mine, sparred … in the ring. She showed up today with a glazed look in her eye claiming “nervousness”, finally sputtering out the fact that she was going to spar with “some woman” in an “hour or so.” As soon as she said it, I knew exactly who she meant. Oh her competitor was tough. I’ve seen her before. And, as a matter of fact, have seriously avoided her and given her a very wide berth.

My colleague got on her gear and climbed into the ring. She went two rounds and literally got the crap beaten out of her. I got a little teary watching actually. I’d never actually seen someone I know fight like that. You would think that boxing and tears don’t go together, but then I remembered Rocky and Million Dollar Baby and realized that boxing and tears are like peas and carrots.

In addition to recognizing my own contentment with mediocrity (at least as far as not getting a bloody lip goes) and the fact that blog ideas are generated primarily when exercising, I had a few revelations:

  • 3 minutes is really freaking long! I mean seriously, 3 minutes of watching somebody getting smacked is painful.
  • Friendly faces mean the world. Sarah comes to the gym several times a week, she works hard and is friendly to everyone. She had some serious support during the bout and it helped.
  • Spin is critical. Sure, she did get the crap beaten out of her. But is that really important? Isn’t the important thing that she did it, kept doing it and threw some good punches? Organizations should throw promising stars into the ring to give them experience, but it’s important that when they flounder, it’s a good thing and not a failure.

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done at work? Or when were you the most scared? Did you have friendly faces? Was it considered a good thing after the fact?

2 Responses to “Scared @#!*less”

  1. Jeremy Ashley said

    I think being hit, discovering that you are not made out of glass, and it being no big deal is a key experience. I took up full contact sparring a few years ago and learning that no matter how much you train lucky hits are very rare, and staying out of range gets you nowhere. It is more common that you have to continue to to move forward, despite the blows, to get in the right position to effectivly fight back.

  2. Amy Wilson said

    That’s a great way to look at it, Jeremy. But I’m still chicken 🙂

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