- Learning to gracefully take a punch to the face will translate well into overall tenacity and poise in the face of all obstacles. “You have to get good at being punched hard in the face, because that’s exactly what someone [or something] is going to be doing to you. And the better you can shrug it off, slip it off, let it slide past without stunning and stopping you, the faster you’ll move up in the game.” (“What Happens When You Get Punched in the Face” at The Glowing Edge)
- Intestinal distress (i.e. bacterial punches to the gut) is nothing compared to a swift shot to the liver. That flood of toxins will paralyze you and make your heart leap into your throat. Plus, routine hard sparring sessions will help you mentally prepare for the days-on-a-toilet exhaustion and dehydration.
- The amount of sweat, blood, and bodily fluids present in the average boxing gym will lower your cleanliness standards and ease transitions into even the dirtiest cities in the world. Sweaty teenage boys don’t “glisten” — their condensation reeks, and their stink will permeate your own skin for hours.
- Learning to watch for blows from all directions helps you to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Those peripheral vision skills will help you to see danger coming, and speedy reflexes will enable you to react quickly to situations before they escalate out of control.
- Accentuating your unique strengths is the only way to win! I am short and small and southpaw, and when going up against taller, bigger, orthodox opponents, trying to throw a jab just won’t work. I will walk into their fists every time! Instead, my strongest shot is a left hook to the body, right below my opponent’s ribs. I come in low, wail on their body (thus the reference above to a liver shot), and then get back out of their range. I take a lot of blows to my head that way, but hey, if Mike Tyson can do it, so can I! (Wait… all those blows to the head have been discussed as the reason for his alleged mental imbalances… Irrelevant!) Watch this on-the-edge-of-your-seat video to see two incredibly talented women boxers can fight with very different styles: Just as boxers know how to play to their strengths and how to shield their weaknesses, we must all be aware of our own strengths and weaknesses (cultural practice observance, financial means, disease transmission awareness, alertness, and all other manner of precautions…) during traveling to insure safety and enjoyment.
Now boxing is obviously only a small portion of preparing for international travel. How do you prepare yourself for international trips? Any tips for me as I begin the packing process?
(For more thoughts about boxing, check out a previous blog post – “Preparation = Instincts”.)