When the Pandemic began, I needed to work out without relying on other people. Before, I used to go to the gym in school and work out with my friends, who normally motivate you to work out as a group. But when we went into lockdown I wasn’t as motivated to work out regularly. I started picking up kickboxing the summer before, and I was eager to start training properly. Plus I had the time.

I was not introduced to kickboxing first but actually wrestling, and that led some of my friends and I to start watching fighting. We got interested in the idea of the UFC and MMA. Before the pandemic, I trained with a few friends two or three times a week.  When the pandemic started, I couldn’t go to the gym, and I needed something to keep me fit, so I decided to resume kickboxing training. Now I practice four times a week at home with a punching bag and weights. Training makes me more disciplined and attentive. Kickboxing keeps you in tune with your body because it requires you to be at peak physical condition. 

What I didn’t expect was that kickboxing would have mental health benefits as well. I have minor ADHD, and it has affected my life in small ways. Normally when I am doing homework I tend to get distracted. It gets frustrating to try to focus on doing work and one hour in, nothing gets done. Ever since I started kickboxing I tend to stay more present, but, more importantly, it makes me more aware of my surroundings and helps me stay focused on my work. Since we are working from home these days I tend to keep my phone near me, as well as other things that can distract me. Being aware of my surroundings helped me to realize that I need to keep my phone and other distractions away and take as few breaks as possible. 

Being in this pandemic has also been hard for me because when school work piles up I leave it for the last minute, and then I get way too distracted to actually work. Kickboxing forces you to be centered and persistent. Being in a fight can be stressful, but when you stay calm and you concentrate, you can win. Being persistent with practice drives me to be persistent with my work as well. This attentiveness to my efforts allows me to do my work on time, and I force myself to focus on work so that it does not pile up.

I came into this pandemic with a different mindset than I have now. When we had first gone into lockdown, I was thinking about ways to schedule out my life since I had so much time, but I never ended up sticking to that schedule. Kickboxing really changed the way that I worked. It taught me to be disciplined with my work and my time. You’d be surprised how good mental and physical habits can form together.  I certainly was.