We’re always taught that if we don’t have something nice to say, we should say nothing at all. What about when we have extremely nice things to say? We should say them, right? Right. So here goes: a love letter to TBC, for goodness’ sake:
Prior to joining Title, my workout routine mostly consisted of playing basketball (still do that), Instagramming pictures of my hot fiancée while she worked out (still do that), and trying to find something semi-interesting to stream on Hulu while suffering through 5K run/walks on the treadmill (never want to do that again). I knew boxing clubs existed in my hood, and I was intrigued yet intimidated by them. So I kept a safe distance…whilst stuffing my face with Cheetos:
-Do we actually box people, or just the bag? (Just the bag)
-I’m never going to learn how to wrap my own hands. (So easy)
-Holy shit. I’m so out of breath. I’m sweating so much. (Water, Towel, Repeat)
-How is it humanly possible for the instructor to hit the bag that hard? (WTF)
-Wow. I just hit the bag pretty hard. (OMG)
-Am I actually enjoying this? (Yes!)
The Emotional Connection
I’ve come to learn that every single person is carrying around what my therapist refers to as a “grief backpack.” Some are bigger and heavier than others, but everyone’s got one. My grief backpack started overflowing late last year and into 2016. From my grandpa’s death, to my best friend’s hospitalization, to day job frustrations, to music career insecurities, to my mother’s terminal brain cancer and unyielding disappointment in me for being the heathen lesbian that I am, I was packing enough guilt and shame and sadness and fear to fill a grief landfill. If you clicked on any of those links, you can see I use music to process grief, but those pesky emotions took a toll on my body in a way that writing a song couldn't heal. I found myself riddled with panic at night, overcome with depression in the morning, emotionally eating, sleep starving, and drifting further and further away from the ambitious, driven, and purposeful “me” I once knew. I could tell the depression was starting to take over when getting out of bed became the most excruciating decision of my day. Thanks to Title Boxing Club, I hung on by a tiny little thread. I now have a place where I can literally fight to protect my body from my mind. Each workout allows me to unpack all those emotions in a physical, tangible way. I may never completely knock out those negative feelings, but I get to walk away each day knowing I at least roughed them up and showed them who’s boss.
As we get more and more comfortable with an online existence, I believe human interaction will be harder to naturally come by than the “old days.” (How ancient does that make me sound, on a scale of 80-100?) Trust me, I don’t really love interacting with people all the time. To be honest, I’d prefer Netflix and chill to Coachella and hyperventilate any day. However, something positive happens when you stop placing yourself in front of a screen full of fictional Shonda Rhimes characters and start placing yourself in a room full of real life people who are trying to better themselves. Every Title trainer has a completely unique approach and members are so diverse in athleticism and age, but every session emits a “oneness” that appeals to my basic craving for a better world and a more activated human experience. Given today’s 24/7 feed of negative politics and divisive media, it’s SO REFRESHING to participate in this undeniable exchange of positive energy. What’s more, Title hosts periodic philanthropic events and commits to a monthly charity partnership so each time a member checks-in on Facebook, something equivalent to an angel getting its wings happens. It’s an added value of membership that makes me feel like I’m getting something and giving something at the same time. I admire Title for caring about the well-being of their community just as much as the well-being of their members.
The Personal Connection
You know how you can change the voice on your GPS from a smug and snobby Siri to a warm and fuzzy Morgan Freeman? I’ve discovered that the only times I’ve ever experienced real personal growth in my life are when I changed my inner voice from a fear-mongering asshole who thinks I can’t do anything right to a die-hard fan who would bet all their money on me in Vegas. Self-perception is all about what you let the voice in your head say to the ears in your heart, and Title’s amazing instructors remind me to keep that script positive. From Taylor’s “I can do ANYTHING for 10, 9, 8..” countdown to Nate’s “Your pace is your pace! But do not stop!” mantra, each class is a compassionate yet motivating testament to my own abilities, potential, and self-worth.
Okay, so real talk…I’m not as enlightened as I’d like you to believe. It may sound silly to anyone who has never experienced the self-loathing that can result from looking a picture of yourself, but one of the reasons I decided to join Title is completely vain: I have a wedding coming up and I’m terrified of having fat arms in my pictures. Our friend Jaymee is also getting married this summer, so we’ve adopted a full-on “sweating for the wedding” strategy, making sure to check in and motivate each other to attend classes. I love that Audrie and I are taking boxing classes together to “prepare” for our wedding. It shows me that we are a great team that can have fun while working toward common goals. Again, it might sound silly, but I believe that will translate over into a strong relationship and successful marriage. Leave it to a couple of lesbians to fall even more in love during a boxing class.
My favorite Bob Dylan quote is “he not busy being born is busy dying.” We are all fated, and it’s up to each of us whether or not we want to look at that as a miraculous blessing or a hopeless curse. I usually do a decent job of staying on the miraculous blessing side of the fence, but as stated earlier, the trauma of recent events was threatening to pull me over to the dark side. So when the Title trainers announced a few weeks ago that they would be holding a bracket-style March Madness check-in challenge, I decided this would be a perfect way to evacuate from the mental madness I was already inflicting upon myself. I’m happy to report in my first week I took 13 classes and 2 personal training sessions (compared to my typical 3-4 classes/week). I’ve committed to pushing myself at this rate for a full month, regardless of whether or not I advance against my opponents in the challenge. The only person I’ve ever really struggled to compete with is myself, and thanks to Title Boxing Club, I’m finally starting to become my own teammate.