1,1,2,Pull,2,3,2,Roll Left,8,3,2

When Jackson said that we were going to be boxing today... I was confused as to why we were doing it. I had never put on a pair of boxing gloves, except for the virtual ones on the Wii. I've only watched a few boxing matches in my lifetime, and today just seemed like a little exercise to diversify our usual circuit training workout, and I was definitely wrong.

Jackson has been boxing for around 5 years, and his videos show that he is very serious and dedicated to perfecting his craft. So, I knew I was in good hands when it came to learning how to box. The red boxing gloves showed "Everlast" a brand I had heard the name of before strolling down the aisles of Dick's Sporting Goods with my youthful brother. I strapped them on, nervously, not knowing what to expect. Jackson says in his ever so hushed voice, "You Ready?". Whenever Jackson asks me that question my mind thinks of two things. The first being my answer to the question, sometimes I say "YES" in my usual charismatic and chipper tone. Sometimes my answer is no, and Jackson reluctantly gives me that glance that I've come to know, and I retract my previous statement with a "Yes". The second being the song "Crazy In Love" by Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, Beyonce's first solo single. It's inspirational, because of the fact that that song began Beyonce's illustrious solo career, and Jackson asking me that question has helped me start what I believe to be the greatest journey of my life, so far.

Jackson teaches me boxing stance, where if he were to push me from four distinct directions, I would be able to keep my balance. It took us about 3 minutes to find my stance, but once I had it, my feet were planted firmly in the ground. He then instructed me on 4 different types of punches. The names of these punches were one, two, three and six:

One - A jab extended from my right arm
Two - A jab extended from my left arm, causing me to pivot on my back foot
Three - A Right Hook
Six - A Left Hook

We practiced those for about 10 minutes, then we added on to my training. Rolling, Pulling and Slipping were three defensive techniques we added in:

Rolling - Using your body to squat under the opponent's arm from one side to the other.
Pulling - Bringing your torso backwards to avoid the opponent's jab.
Slipping - Moving your torso from side to side to avoid the opponent's jab, depending on which arm is used.

Jackson had one more punch to teach me... eight:

Eight - An uppercut with your dominant hand. (Mine being left, becuase I'm left-handed)

The boxing moves weren't difficult, because it was all rhythmic to me. I didn't really feel like I was boxing, just competitively dancing, with punches. The dance started off as just moves, and then it became choreographed. Jackson started making combinations of the moves we had learned. It started off with a simple "1,2. 1,2" then became more skillful as Jackson saw that I started to get the hang of it. Pretty soon, I was hearing "1,2,3,6" and then we choreographed what I thought was the Argentinian Tango of the day. The combination went as follows:

"1,1,2,Pull,2,3,2,Roll Left,8,3,2"

The combination of 9 punches, 2 defensive moves and a lot of footwork is physically demanding, but able to be achieved with focus and determination. I saw first hand how when I was focused on making sure my moves were acurate and well executed, then was I able to understand the fluidity of the workout. The video below shows you the combination in action.

One night, the topic of discussion became who is the greatest athlete of all time. I stayed silent, because I really couldn't think of one at the at that moment. My mentor, Michael Dukes said Muhammad Ali. As always, Mr. Dukes gave substantial evidence as to why he feels that Ali is the greatest athlete of all time, and he surely had me convinced. Learning key moves in boxing really showed the skill, focus and dedication it takes to be the greatest at something. Of course, I'm not Muhammad Ali, however, I do try and strive to be the best at whatever I set my mind to. 

I am the greatest. I said that before I even knew I was. -Muhammad Ali

I have a new attitude about the situations of life now. I see that with extreme determination, tenacity and faith, I can truly achieve anything I set my mind to. I realize now, holistically that it's time to focus and do whatever I need to do to make it where I want to go. I will be the Muhammad Ali of the fashion world. I will achieve anything and everything that I set out to do.

It's amazing how many revelations about my life have come about when I started to get serious about my health. I have seriously become so much more of a reflector, and I see things so much clearer. I hope and pray you continue to follow me on the journey through young adulthood!

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P.S. In three weeks, I will be settled in my new apartment! I can't wait to show you my finds for my new humble abode.