November 11, 2016 was a special day. We had many things to celebrate. El Jefe’s birthday. Our second Fight Night. And, most importantly (sorry Jefe), Work Train Fight’s seventh anniversary.
That’s right, seven years ago a dream became a reality. A safe space was created for people looking to try a new activity, explore something new. More importantly, looking to explore a place within themselves.
Boxing > Therapy
Boxing allows us to tap into a part of ourselves which is often neglected. The part where instinct outweighs analytics. Where we can turn off the overworked logistical sides of our brains and tap into the emotional side.
As modern human beings we think too much. Most people’s internal dialogue at the gym would go something like this: Am I doing this exercise right? Do I belong here? Is that guy lifting more weight than me? Should I be lifting more weight? Will lifting these weights make me bulky? Do these Lululemon leggings make my butt look big? Do I want my butt to look big?
That shit is stressful. And we already carry a lot of stress. Work. Family. Rent. The MTA. What if, for an hour every day, you could step outside all that? You could let go of those nagging thoughts and let your hands do the talking.
Over the past few months, I have come to see not only what a unique method of therapy boxing is, but how lucky we are to have a safe environment like WTF in which to investigate it. El Jefe’s mission has been to ensure that everyone who walks through our doors gets an equal opportunity to have a positive boxing experience.
Beginner or expert. Male or female. StreetFighter or TreeHugger. Everyone is welcome. And anyone who makes a fellow WTFer feel anything less than totally accepted is promptly shown the door by the man himself.
Being Good and Being Strong
So what exactly is it about our awesome little gym that makes it different than the others? At WTF it’s not about how many calories you burned (I promise it’s a lot). It’s not about abs or #fitspo (although our awesome trainers and members offer plenty of both). It is, in the words of El Jefe, about being good and about being strong.
That means throwing a good right hook. Even if it takes weeks to get it down. It means slowing down to make sure your form is correct, and you’re not just throwing a bunch of shitty, fast punches.
It means having a good understanding of the way your body moves. Having proper fitness programming to make sure your bones and joints are strong enough to support boxing, running, moving apartments, climbing up the subway stairs when the escalator goes down.
Most importantly it means doing good. Taking time out of our busy days to do good for someone else. Even if they don’t ask. Especially when they don’t ask.
And more than good, we must be strong. We must be strong in our bodies (because, squats). We must be strong in our sense of right and wrong so that we can stand up to bullies and lead the next generation to be powerful and passionate leaders. We must be strong in our hearts so we can fight hate with love. And win.
And so, on November 11th we celebrated strength. We celebrated the physical strength of our trainers and members, fighting it out in the ring. We witnessed the strength of persistence, as countless hours of training came to fruition. We admired the strength of spirit among the competitors, as each bout ended with a heartfelt embrace. We toasted the strength of El Jefe, who has remained steadfast in his mission despite endless obstacles.
We drank. We ate. We cheered. And it was good.