Last night I sparred with two boxers half my age. Tough Russian kids with heavy accents who could have turned me into a bowl of borscht. Instead, they’d stop to demonstrate technique and then go back to knocking some sense into me.
This wasn’t the first time I sparred with them. They see me at the gym three times a week. They know I’m not going to quit. I’ve earned their respect and friendship, and I’d be a fool not to want to learn from them. While boxing may be my workout program, you can leave the ring with more than a bruised ego.
Full disclosure: I am writing this with a lower lip that’s a few shades of purple and black. Not exactly what happens in spinning or crossfit.
Boxing is like working in advertising. You work hard. Sometimes you’re the champ. Sometimes you and your ideas get torn apart. The trick is to keep cool and learn from anyone who knows more than you. Because if you don’t, that’s when you’re going down.
I’ve partnered with junior art directors who had much to offer. I’ve also had to carry a few kids who seem to think Photoshop is a substitute for having an idea. Of course, I’ve also learned a great deal from guys older than me. And if it weren’t for the three boxing coaches at my gym, all guys who’ve fought professionally and are now in their 40s and 50s, there’s no way I could spar with some kid half my age.