Finding my sport

Journal columnistAugust 26, 2014 

I didn’t discover my inner athlete until my early 20s. Motivated by my own wedding dress, I decided that I wasn’t going to walk down the aisle until I had hit my goal weight. So, I started running, and running and running. Call me Forest Gump if you will.

I found so much inner strength while I began to train for my first half-marathon. I surprised myself and shocked my family. Never in my life did I consider myself an athlete.

I can remember my parents giving me endless pointers after every softball and basketball game I played as a kid. I remember my husband trying to teach me how to throw a dart correctly, kick a soccer ball, throw a football … heck even catch a Frisbee.

It wasn’t until a friend invited me to attend a boxing class that I realized I had found my sport. Finally, in a sport that allowed me to take out frustration and anger with a single punch, I was encouraged to punch harder and move faster. It was exhilarating. I couldn’t wait to do it again.

Fast forward a year, and I am now teaching that boxing fitness class. I love it. I get to see the way people light up when you tell them how great they are doing and to keep it up. It’s a great feeling to see the satisfaction on their faces when they get down a new combination or when they keep up their intensity hitting the mitts.

I stay motivated because of the people in my class. They inspire me to keep pushing myself to further limits. Now I am excited to try new things because I might find another sport I enjoy.

Encouragement is huge. I admire the parents who spend time on the sidelines cheering on their athletes. I learned at a young age how much my parents loved and cared for me, while spending hours on the ball field even though I was so uncoordinated.

Throughout my whole weight-loss journey, I got a big dose of support from family and friends. With their kind words and love, I kept going. There wasn’t a magic pill but there was hard work.

Now, if I could just get my husband to come take my boxing class.

Ashlee Hendrix is the Lead Designer for the Lee’s Summit Journal.

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