Boxing is for Nerds
By Angela Dahl (@AngelaDahling)
When I first considered doing boxing as a workout I had two major concerns: 1) that I am a nerd, and 2) that I am the girliest person I know, and surely these things would get in the way of me being able to punch anyone in the face. Rest assured nerds, I did it, and you can too! And, believe it or not, boxing is practically made for nerds.
First, boxing is all about physics. It has been eight years since my last science or math class, and now I’m constantly thinking about angles and force at least three times a week. And I’m always in the midst of a complex word problem, for example: if Coach is six feet tall and I’m 5’3,’ and he’s 200 pounds and I’m… less than that, will my fist get to his face if I prance around like a pony for five minutes? (The answer is no, and your Coach will get mad at you and tell you you’re not in a Broadway production). Seriously though, I’m using a part of my brain that I’ve long since retired, and it feels great. The nerd brain can handle computing the many factors of many split-second decisions while at the same time trying to ignore the sweat dripping into your eyes.
Second, boxing constantly keeps your interest because there’s always something new to learn. It’s like you’re constantly leveling up! For us obsessive nerds, that’s an ideal workout. In boxing you’re literally kept on your toes, so it never gets boring. I know it’s also a matter of having the right trainer too, but I can honestly say in four months I’ve never had the same workout twice, and I’ve never been bored. Which is probably a good thing because if you’re bored, you lose focus, and then you lose your glasses because you’ve been hit in the face.
As nerds, we’ve all been bullied or at the very least have been picked on at some point in our lives. Having just a minimum amount of knowledge of how to protect yourself is empowering; even one session where you learn the basic stance and how to throw a jab can make a difference. My coach has given me the confidence that if I’m attacked in an alley, I can get in one good punch before I prance away (I prance a lot. I’m working on it). Confidence is something a lot of nerds lack because the nerd brain constantly makes us overthink and overanalyze, resulting in anxiety-ridden late night Netflix binges. Boxing, especially if you throw in some kickboxing and Muay Thai training, gives you confidence AND those handy endorphins reduce your anxiety levels too! Win.
If want to push yourself, be able to defend yourself, and learn something called a “spinning back fist” (they’re awesome), I strongly recommend you find a trainer or class to try out boxing. You can build up your nerd brain and build up your nerd body. Boxing works every body part and the cardio is unlike anything you’ve ever tried. Three minute rounds don’t sound like a long time until you’re in it, and then you swear the Doctor is messing with the space-time continuum ‘cause three minutes should’ve passed like ten minutes ago. And ladies, you don’t have to worry about “bulking up” or losing your girlyness in any way; I’m leaner and still determined to paint glittery unicorns on my gear. Don’t judge! …You wanna take this outside?!