A shout out to Katie Goodburn Lewis…last year she posted a quote that got our attention:
If you want something you’ve never had before,
you have to do something you’ve never done before.
If you’re on social media, you see lots of inspirational quotes and 99% of the time you think, “that’s nice”, and then you never give it a second thought. If we had seen this quote even a few months earlier, it may not have resonated, but the timing was right and it struck a nerve. We talked a lot about what we wanted, and more importantly, we talked about the things we had never done before. If setting a new goal and dreaming a new dream was the first step in our journey, then actually doing something we had never done before to achieve it was clearly the second.
(Glen) In February of 2015, I discovered boxing. More correctly stated, I fell in love with boxing and Rob Pilger’s Old Skool Boxing Gym. There’s nothing fancy about the place—a cinder block building with chipping paint, no locker room or showers, pictures of boxers taped to the walls with duct tape, a boxing ring in the middle of a room, and heavy bags hanging from steel beams—I absolutely love the place. I also love the training; set up in 3-minute intervals to mimic 3-minute rounds: skipping rope, ring movement, strength training, heavy bag, double end bag, speed bag, and mitt work. I love the technical instruction on the right way to throw a jab, cross, hook, uppercut and how put those together into combinations. I love wrapping my hands. I love sparring; both delivering and receiving blows. Not sure why boxing clicked, but it did. Sure, the physical benefits are great, but my big learning is from the mental side of the sport. When I first began, I thought too much about what I wanted to do in the ring. You can’t do that. Each opponent and each round is different. You have to take what the fight brings. If you’re good, and I would not put myself into that category, you use your training to capitalize on the opportunities presented within the fight. In summary, boxing has helped me be more present in the moment.
(Julie) I started yoga later that same year. Partly because I wanted something new and partly because I had seen how Glen had found something that he loved and I wanted to experience the same feeling. I have to admit that my yoga studio is a lot nicer than his boxing gym 🙂 it’s Bexley Yoga, bexleyyoga.com. I got a coupon for a free trial lesson and when I made the decision to give it a go, I was apprehensive because I had never done yoga before. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do the positions and I’d look foolish, but the experience of my very first class immediately assuaged those fears. The instructor was incredibly reassuring and she made me feel so comfortable. I have learned that yoga is not so much a group thing, but its about establishing “your own personal practice”. It’s not the intensity of Glen’s boxing, yet it is a great work out. Yoga is a both/and thing. You sweat and you rest. You work to put your body into positions and you listen to your body. You push yourself and you focus on the importance and power of simply breathing. As I do more exploration into what it means to live a contemplative life, I know this was an important starting point. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just a baby in the process, but I’m on the road.