I recently completed the UWCB #Bath program, with the 8 weeks free training and fighting at glamourous event, as billed, this last 17th, December. This was one of 30+ other similar events happening throughout the country that weekend!
I didn’t know anything about it until a female friend signed up for the one in Leicester … along with her Dad! I was certainly impressed and a little bit jealous 🙂 and started reading about UWCB and watching their videos online. I had established that one was also starting very soon in Bath and during that week I kept revisiting the sign-up page and couldn’t shake the feeling that I would love to do it … IF I dared!
Well, sign up I did and attended a sign-up night, at Gracie Barra martial arts gym, with say 30 other guys and girls which was friendly, informative and encouraging. I may have had the pleasure of being the oldest and the heaviest but I’m not 100% sure! 🙂 I met the fantastic ‘Professor’ Salvatore who would teach us to box and so much more! Also, the fabulous Pindi & Kirsty who keep us on track from the fundraising, UWCB and event preparation side of things!
Wow, it was quite an experience, with killer training and culminating with the hardest physical challenge I’ve ever taken up on a night that I will never forget. Yes, it was ‘proper’ hard but I have no regrets. Not everyone who started the program finished, hence we were all celebrated as winners at the pre-event talk. However, everyone who finished the program has developed and discovered things about themselves, and taken some life-lessons away that will apply to work and personal life as well as in sport and fitness. I am a recruiter, blogger and founder of Macstaff and wanted to share my personal takeaways from the program which in many ways is a metaphor for life!
I am passionate about people chasing their dreams and achieving their potential; hopefully, this blog will encourage others to step out of their comfort zones this year and sign up to UWBC. You will fundraise for a great cause, in this case, Cancer Research UK, get in potentially the best shape of your life, gain memories that last a lifetime and many spin-off benefits … here’s my top 10!
#1: Goal setting. It’s very rare for something worthwhile to happen by accident. As with UWCB, success starts with a decision, to do something which is then refined to a specific goal. Even then a goal without a date can essentially be a daydream! So you need a specific plan and timeframe in order to assure you hit your goal. Fortunately, UWCB have the full 8 weeks and event mapped out!
#2: Focus. This was my big one, it’s all very well having a goal tucked away in the background. However, for something as intense as this constant focus is required. Keep your eyes on the prize and drive forward to your goal. No distractions, no excuses, just focus. #trainhardfighteasy
#3: Determination. As with life and work, things are going to get tough. Working all the training in will be hard (just getting off the sofa is hard), training is going to be hard, round 3 on fight-night is going to be really hard. You’re going to have to dig deeper than you think you can, find resolve you didn’t know you had and keep going! Nothing worthwhile is easy … who wants easy?!?!
#4: Courage. I don’t know about everyone else but the whole idea of being stuck in a ring with another guy for 6 minutes fighting … when he probably loves fighting … and is really good at it, was a little daunting. But courage is like a muscle, keep working it and the stronger your courage gets. By the time training is done, you will be ready. And then doing a presentation at work seems easy by comparison.
#5: Confidence. On a related note, finishing the course and going 3 rounds with your friend and opponent will be a big confidence boost. Do that and this is strong evidence for your subconscious to hang on to that you can accomplish anything. So look out, you never know what you might tackle next?
#6: Learning. Maybe it’s because I was on the more mature end of the group, but I took away a great reminder that an old dog CAN learn new tricks. What you knew and what you would do when you were 20 or 30 doesn’t dictate what you can achieve in your 40’s. Plus, variety is the spice of life, it’s refreshing to do something different!
#7: Camaraderie. I didn’t consider this much in advance as a motivator for me, but just the same as going through any life-changing event with others e.g. surviving a hostage situation :), you create a strong bond with your fellow UWCBers. I miss the camaraderie already and it’s this that may drag me back!
#8: Supporters. It was great to have my parents, my wife and my sis, for example, at the event. Even though they are not exactly big boxing fans, they loved being part of my journey! This was a reminder that creating, and maintaining a good support system of people, is crucial to success. #loveyourpeeps.
#9: Health & Fitness. This was a more expected benefit as I was certainly hoping to get fitter in the program. I had no idea it was going to be so intense, but knowing what I know now, it has to be. I have a greater respect for boxers as it’s so physically demanding. So if you want to get in the best shape of your life, look no further. If you want some gentle exercise, look elsewhere! 🙂
#10: Higher causes. To do something that is over and above your own self-interest is really good and raising money for charity is ‘the right thing to do’. However, a spin-off benefit is that the accountability to others and the cause keeps you on track. Many UWBC athletes have lots of personal stories and reasons behind wanting to stand up to cancer and get in the ring to support Cancer Research UK. I hadn’t so much really but these people have certainly inspired me to stand with them.
New UWCB programs are starting soon if you dare?
Otherwise, what’s your next challenge going to be?
Let me know how you get along! 🙂
All the best, Anthony