Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

What Happens in The Boxing Ring?

If you read many people’s accounts of their response to a chronic or life-threatening illness, you may have recognized the metaphor of battle or going to war as a predominant theme.  We are taught that the only way to fight something such as an illness is to go to war.  Don’t you think there are other ways, more creative ways of challenging the illness?

One of the things about training for boxers refers to yesterday’s post about how do you prepare for the challenges ahead.  We’re at our best when we’ve had the opportunity to train so we can avoid the surprises that often come with any obstacle or challenge.  In this case, understanding the course of the illness and the possible side effects of treatments and the prognosis are crucial in developing a health and healing plan.

Now back to the boxing ring.  The boxing ring is a good metaphor because when training as a boxer you have a sparring partner.  This partner isn’t there to put your face down in the mat, but to run your through your paces so you can avoid any surprises.  A sparring partner will help make you stronger.  It will help prepare you.  This partner will challenge you to be your best, or possibly to challenge you to think outside the box of what’s possible for healing.

One of the amazing things about your illness as a sparring partner is to bring you into the present.  It will require you to be the best you possible so you can take on the challenge with grace.  Change your thought from being a boxer as someone who hits someone, and change your frame of reference to a boxer being an athlete.

If you can reframe your experience you don’t have to  think of ways to take down your opponent.  You have a team of medical providers, friends and family, and your emotional and spiritual selves to take on the illness as a team.  The ability to step in the boxing ring is to make you a stronger person and that in and of itself is a healing.