Self-Improvement

You Don’t Become Good in One Go

How many punches and kicks are you willing to throw?

Practicing with one of my favourite boxing trainers. ©Agnes Louis

You simply don’t.

It takes more than an hour, a day, a week, a month, even a year.

The more you do it, the better you become at it.

But no, you do not become good in one go.

You see athletes — running like a cheetah, boxers — throwing punches, stinging like a bee, bringing their opponents to their knees, on their backs, yogis — standing on their hands, bending all different directions.

There is no such thing as an overnight success.

People watched me threw punches, kicking in the ring. Strangers I barely knew, people I have never met before. A couple of ladies took videos.

People would comment on my boxing videos, a tone of “I’m quite impressed”.

But it was not always like that.

I wish I had recorded my first few boxing sessions.

I have only a couple of recordings from my earlier sessions when my response time was still rather poor (but not as poor as the first few sessions).

Watching and compiling those videos with the ones taken a year after my practice, I just realized how slow I was.

I knew I was slow when I first started. I just didn’t know I was that slow.

I thought I was doing quite okay but no, I was super slow.

Well, I just started out, that was my starting out speed and it’s okay.

No one starts good.

Everyone starts somewhere where they’re not good and it takes time to scale the mountain.

If you’ve never climbed a mountain before, you can’t expect to climb at the same speed with people who have climbed several mountains.

You train.

You repeat, again and again and again, until you become good.

Show up EVERYDAY.

Train like there’s no tomorrow.

Those are the 2 principles I carry to all my workouts and practices.

I remember the day after my first practice.

My arms and legs were sore from all the punching and kicking.

I could stay in the bed (a little voice whispered in my ears, telling me to do just that).

Or I could continue with my journey, conditioning my body so that it gets used to my boxing routine.

I took a deep breath and kicked myself out of the bed.

I went every single day.

Every. Single. Day.

It’s amazing how much you can achieve if you consistently put in the effort.

If only everyone realizes the impact of simply showing up everyday.

My boxing routine.

As I mentioned, I can’t find videos from my first few boxing sessions. The first 2 clips of the Youtube video I have embedded are the earliest sessions I could find and even those are slow compared to the later bit of the video when I was already practicing for a little more than a year.

It drives me crazy when I read “I’ve been here for X amount of weeks / a few months and I’m disappointed because I don’t see any results.

It takes longer than that. A bit less if you put it more effort and maintain consistency.

You’re not going to be able to swiftly punch and kick with just a few sessions on your belt. You’re not gonna earn hundreds of dollars by just being here for like a few weeks or months. It takes effort and persistence.

Forget about people who promise you instant result.

All good things take time.

Have you heard about Picasso’s Dove of Peace Napkin Art?

Picasso sat drawing in a café in Paris one day when one of his admirers approached and asked him if he would do a quick sketch on a napkin. He said yes and swiftly drew what is now known as the Dove of Peace. When he handed the napkin to his admirer, he quoted a rather huge sum of money as the price of his napkin artwork.

“How can it costs so much? It took you only one minute to draw!” the admirer said, to which Picasso replied, “No, it took me 40 years.

40 years!

Here’s another fun fact I read in Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell:

By the standards of mature composers, Mozart’s early works are not outstanding. The earliest pieces were all probably written down by his father, and perhaps improved in the process. Many of Wolfgang’s childhood compositions, such as the first seven of his concertos for piano and orchestra, are largely arrangements of works by other composers.

Of those concertos that only contain music original to Mozart, the earliest that is now regarded as a masterwork (No 9, K. 271) was not composed until he was twenty-one: by that time Mozart had already been composing concertos for ten years.

10 years.

He composed concertos for 10 years before he became good at what he did and he was a child prodigy!

We are now living in a world that changes and evolves in a breakneck speed. It’s a good thing and a bad thing.

Many of us (I will not say “we” because in some parts of the world, people are still living in a very poor condition) are able to live better lives because of technology advancement. But it comes with a price.

We now have difficulties to pause, to slow down.

Many of the young generations, the so called Gen X and Gen Z (there are quite a few I couldn’t be bothered to keep up with the terms) want instant result.

They want to get better in a blink of an eye, in a matter of seconds.

My e-mails, social media feeds are littered with promises of instant improvements.

Get better looking skin in 3 seconds. Be a prolific writer in 3 months. Paint like a pro in 3 weeks, yada yada yada.

It’s an insult to those who perfect their crafts in years, decades.

It takes more than showing up once.

No, you don’t become good in one go.

Have patience, it’s a virtue after all.

Show up, be consistent.

Everything will come in due time.

Not a moment earlier, not a moment later.

Everything will fall into place in its time.

Keep going.

Written by

Writer by heart. Teacher (English, Yoga, Pilates) by trade. Avid reader. World traveller. Model. You can reach me at agneslouis3108@gmail.com.

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