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Three times stronger through kickboxing
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Three times stronger through kickboxing

When people think of kickboxing, they often envision testosterone and muscular bodies. However, there is a growing number of “proper” women, like myself, who also engage in this sport. Kickboxing helps me in my work as a team coach. Allow me to share with you how.

Boxing is more than a straight right punch. It can teach you a lot, especially about mental resilience. It’s no wonder that boxers, like Dutch Lucia Rijker, later emerge as gurus in self-empowerment.

I never thought boxing could be something for me until I was looking for a sport to get fit and release my pent-up energy. That’s when kickboxing crossed my path a year ago. Twice a week, I kick and punch my way to a sweaty workout. And occasionally, I spar with a training partner.

Physically, I feel a significant difference: I am stronger and fitter than ever before. I have also grown mentally. It has brought me three things:

1 I have gained more self-confidence

While coaching teams, I often encounter intense emotions from people. Boxing helps me to remain calm, observe the situation, and respond assertively to whatever comes my way. Because I feel stronger, I am better able to cope with what is coming. I am less likely to shy away from angry reactions or intense emotions. In such situations, I stay more connected with myself and can establish better connections with the people around me.

2 I am better at setting and maintaining boundaries

If you want to help a team with making progress, you need to empower the team members to take responsibility. In the past, I sometimes fell into the trap of trying to please everyone too much. I would solve things for other people or adapt myself too much to others’ wishes. This was sometimes at the expense of the preconditions for effective coaching.

Kickboxing has helped me to better understand and protect my boundaries. After receiving a low blow, I didn’t seek revenge. And when I felt agitated during sparring and sensed that my partner was too, I stopped before it had any painful consequences. I now clearly communicate my boundaries and don’t let myself get too caught up in the heat of the moment.

In the past, I used to portray myself as strong, now I feel strong. That is a significant difference.

Hester Poelman

3 I release tension more quickly

A team coach encounters a lot of tension, resistance, or unrest during work. As someone who is sensitive, I tend to carry this with me back home. Boxing serves as a reset button, so to speak. It allows me to release everything that has accumulated over a few days, and I regain new energy.

Kickboxing helps me to stay balanced and stand up for what I value. But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that I now actively seek confrontations. I haven’t become more aggressive; on the contrary, I feel calmer. I have a solid foundation and I’m more alert.

In the past, I would pretend to be strong, but now I truly feel powerful. That is a significant difference. I hope to inspire others to experience this sense of being ‘in their power’ more often as well.

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