One of my health coaching clients Liz and I have been working together to prepare her - nutritionally, physically and mentally - to do one of the bravest things: to step into a boxing ring for the first time and fight. I don't think there's any way to step into a boxing ring without being completely vulnerable: the action is unpredictable, there are so many factors at play (technique, style, rhythm, strength and physical attributes). The key is to go in balanced. And the balance to being vulnerable is being vulnerable and prepared.
Side note: I say vulnerable AND prepared instead of vulnerable BUT prepared to really drive home that the two can - and should - coexist. I learned this from my good friend Jess (you can follow her unbelievable travels here). And I've really tried to minimize using the word "but" in my life. Try it on and see how your perspective shifts.
This seemed so relevant to our discussion in preparing for Liz's fight. But then it dawned on me that this is something that shows up everywhere in my life already...
- I go into work with no idea what kind of trauma will come through the doors
- I have difficult discussions with friends and loved ones without knowing how they're going to hear what I have to say
- I attempt new workouts without knowing how my body will respond or if my body will even be capable
- I write recipes with no idea how the food will come out (trust me, there's a lot of trial there and a TON of error there)
- I speak with strangers
- I ask for help without knowing how that request will be met
These are really just a smidgen of the vulnerable positions I find myself in on a fairly regular basis, but when I can be vulnerable while feeling prepared, then what I'm taking is a balanced risk.
I say it's a balanced risk, because a calculated risk would require mapping out every iteration of possible outcomes and planning a response to each one. You can image how that would take anyone out of the present moment. A balanced risk, on the other hand, is a commitment to resilience: trusting that I am prepared to handle whatever the outcome is, without having to know beforehand.
Committing to resilience lends you to being present. Without having to think of future outcomes, you can be right here, right now. And that is what improves our athletic performance, our interactions with others, and a million other small and big things like successes in the kitchen or landing a dream gig.
To check out more on Liz's road to the ring and to support her as she raises money for Gleason's Give a Kid a Dream Foundation - an organization that supports inner city youth through not only boxing training, but also academic tutoring and the offering of a safe and welcoming space for children within the boxing community - check out her donation page here.