I decided that I wanted a big challenge, so I signed up to train for a white collar boxing match… For the last 7 weeks I have been training four times a week, sometime twice a day. On many occasions my colleagues have seen me lugging a massive bag containing all manner of boxing paraphernalia to the office. The training has been challenging, hard, painful but really really enjoyable…
I am at the stage where I am looking forward to training, getting better, sharper and learning more. I am no Anthony Joshua or Nicola Adams, but it has taken a massive mind shift to arrive at the place where I accept that in order to not get hit, I have to hit.
Hitting the bag or pads is safe and easy because they don’t hit back is quite safe, hitting another living thing was something else. The 1st time I sparred, I was so scared, I wouldn’t hit my trainer, he got so annoyed that he grabbed my glove and pushed it in his own face, then punched me square in the nose… I was stunned and shocked, but it woke up the fighter in me because I thought ‘bloody cheek’…. and attempted to box. At that time it wasn’t about the physical act of boxing, it was about the mental act of boxing… I had to get my head around hitting someone hard and being committed about throwing jabs, straight rights, upper-cuts and hooks, with courage, purpose and conviction.
It got me thinking about how I show up at work, how committed I am to the task at hand, how I tackle my projects with courage, purpose and conviction. Do I spar with my project team? When there is an issue to be ironed out or a difference of opinion, and I am looking for the killer jab to make my point, am I ducking and blocking the opinions of others or am I committed to finding a solution that suits all concerned. How am I protecting myself from getting backed into a corner where I feel I have no option but to come out swinging wild punches and hoping that one of them lands; or am I looking for the opportunity to step out of harm’s way, whilst planning what I need to do next, keeping a cool head and maintaining the integrity of me as a Business Analyst (BA) and the integrity of the project?
In boxing, you need a cool head, you need to always do something to keep momentum moving, whether that is throwing a punch, blocking a punch, rolling under a punch, you cannot stand still, and as a BA, I cannot stand still. I feel I have the responsibility to keep the flow and momentum in a project, by engaging with stakeholders, subject matter experts, technology, my fellow BA’s etc.
I have to beat down complexity when I feel it is creeping into the project and block or roll under inertia… no, I am not going to allow myself get in the way of its punches.
My bought is still a few weeks away, so the intensity of the training will increase and then tail off just before fight night… I am still looking for my Fight Night name, so all suggestions are welcome…..
At the time of posting this blog, Patricia had gone ahead with the boxing competition and it was a wonderful event, she will be preparing for her next boxing match in July 2016. It’s a white collar charity boxing event held in London.