Archives for posts with tag: health

I get two responses when people realize I’m nearly obsessed with boxing. Either I am an undercover psycho with a lot of anger issues, or, they laugh. Dee? Hitting heavy bags? They laugh, literally.

The first time I spent with a trainer on pads, he would stop often and say, “Dee stop smiling. It’s creepy.” I’d laugh and then realize he was serious, so I’d press my lips together as best as I could and focus on that jab-jab-cross again, even though everything in me said, “you suck at this.”

I started boxing near the end of last year after writing a profile on the ringleader of a new studio in town, and became nearly obsessive immediately. I couldn’t put a finger on it, but I was in love with boxing. Since then however, I’ve learned a lot about myself and the reason I box. Mostly, it turns out I’m a lover and a fighter, but let me explain.

At first it was to help me win a bet. Cousin Jordan and I had a bet going on to help us get back into the gym, but after that was done (and I won), I wasn’t about to leave that little studio. I had realized it wasn’t about getting sweet abs, though that would be cool. And it certainly wasn’t to work out my silent anger issues.

It was about me – just, me. While some people might think that’s a little self-indulgent, let me share with you the real reasons I’m obsessed. Hopefully by the end of this, you’ll find your own form of boxing.


The first thing you learn in boxing is your stance and how to throw a punch properly. The next thing you learn is that you have no idea how to breathe, and, you might die. During a high intensity class, the only thing you hear is music and the trainer, who is often saying “focus on that breathing, in the nose, out the mouth …” I’m not kidding you, this lesson has followed me in my life. As soon as life starts feeling a little ‘high intensity’, you’ll find me reminding myself to focus on that breathing.


Most people ask me who I picture when I’m smashing punches on the bag. And honestly, my answer is, “Negative Dee.” I could focus on everything and everyone else around me, but I actually end up losing focus, and lose sight of the real opponent. So, when I’m smashing that bag, I’m thinking about who I am, and what I’m capable of. When fear, doubt, insecurity, absentmindedness, or inability whispers to me during class, I remind myself of who I am. Boxing is a mental sport as much as it is physical, and I think life is pretty similar. Whenever I’m tempted to start thinking about external things or people to blame, I can see myself fighting the negativity inside of me instead.


I don’t think it’s a stretch to say doubt and insecurity so easily make their way into our life on a daily basis. It’s annoying. But for 50 minutes a day, I don’t have time to give to those thoughts, because I’ve got another five seconds to work out a few more combos. It’s a lot like every day, you know? I’ve got this option every single time I am faced with doubt or insecurity to give it the time of day, or, I could crush some goals instead. And every time I chose it, I learn to fight for me.

A lot of my life is focused on other people, which I really love. Between full time school and a handful of part-time jobs, my life gets busy. But for 50 minutes a day I get to focus on me, which I believe is necessary to be able to focus on other people well.

After coffee with a pastor I adore, he reminded me boxing can be my source of rest, if I wanted. It made me think about how I view myself, and what is important to me because ‘rest’ has never sounded optimal to me. I realized through this that oftentimes, I am not important to myself. Much like me laughing and smiling without the ability to focus during my early days boxing, I didn’t have confidence in just me. But now you’ll find me sweaty in the corner of a studio focusing on me. Breathing, letting go, learning, sometimes even smiling or laughing, and being me – just me.

(And of course, it feels pretty good to hit shit sometimes.)

Honestly, I hope you can find your form of boxing – whatever makes you passionate, thoughtful, and cognizant of you – just you.

“You’re results have come back, the doctor would like to see you,” I puked.

Okay, I only puked in my mind but it was gross and wildly real enough for me to run to the bathroom before tears or real vomit shot out from within. I rose my hunched back to review the aging eyes sunken in my face. Just five minutes ago I was confident. Just five minutes ago I was decided and fine with it all. Regardless the outcome, I was fine with it all.

I’ve been going back and forth to the doctors’ for four months, ensuring my health is intact after a few things had me running into unknown doctors arms, bewildered and unprepared for anything good. Keep giving it to God, I kept telling myself as I would walk briskly into that horrid place. Horrid only because doctors such as this are necessary and I know my father in heaven weeps over this sickness. And I always thought when I’d walk about in there that God would float through those revolving doors softly whispering Come to me my dear, my love. Let me bring your joy. Every time I’d leave, I’d sing or dance down the streets, feeling like freedom must be now, freedom must surely have come now. I won’t ever have to go back!

But then I’d have to go back. Again, and again. I’d beg for God just to save me, heal and purify me.

And while I stare into that unbecoming mirror, I remember I’m becoming myself. Regardless of this, I am becoming myself. All sorts of biblical mantras come pouring out my mouth, and I’m reminded I am becoming me. I determined I am yours. Albeit, I decided this even after you’d claimed me, called me by name. That’s right! You called me by name father, and whatever the circumstances with my health, you’ve given me purpose. I will fulfill it, and be unafraid. I’m yours, father. I’m yours. And I’d remembered I promised God I’d do my best to bring His glory, wherever and whatever I needed to do. I shared my faith with the nurses, praise God with every bit of good news that came back.

But here I was to go in again. I’d known to wear waterproof eyeliner; I’d be crying on my way out of that place regardless the outcome. And there it was. ” Deanna, we just wanted to let you know everything is perfectly fine with your health” PRAISE GOD. Oh praise God. “Not even high sugar levels in my blood” I questioned, “I’ve been eating an unpresedented amount of chocolate in the past few months”. She literally let out one single ‘ha’ and said no. That she didn’t want to leave me hanging, regardless the outcome. I wanted to hug her, but she said no. It’s fine, I’ll get over it. I was just so thrilled…

And the point isn’t that I’m healthy. The joy in tears on my way back to work wasn’t that my health was perfected –  though I know without doubt I should have seen something unhealthy come back – it was that I have decided, my friends. I have decided and will continue to decide that I am His, and He is mine. And regardless my circumstance, my health, my position, I am learning to be content with much or with little. I am learning, changing, and growing. I am being pushed and shoved into corners I never knew could exist for myself, and I’m not responding the ways I would have. I cried knowing I wouldn’t need to beg my heavenly dad to please, please not make me go back to that horrid place (not that it was Him who made me go in the first place). I knew I was finished. I knew my health was finally no longer a concern in this way. And I knew it because He first told me; it is finished. It is finished – and I’ve come to set you free. And then… I cried with humbled joy.

Dedicated to my friends. You know who you are. Thank you, and love you– Dee