Punch It Up!

Lisa Creech Bledsoe of Garner was stressed out in her family life, career and health, when in 2008 she found herself intrigued by the heavy bag in her garage, meant for her sons’ use.

“They weren’t all that interested, but I was fascinated,” she said, and started swinging.

Many of us would think it a stretch for a professional writer/marketer, wife of 20-plus years and mom to three sons to take up an extreme sport. But Bledsoe was “desperate for extreme change” and willing to take action to achieve it.

“Boxing for fitness was the comparatively easy hurdle, even though it was an incredibly difficult workout; 1,000 calories an hour is no joke!” she said. “But the real challenge came when I decided I was ready to get in the ring. I was terrified. But during that very first round I realized my life was about to change.”

Physically and mentally demanding, the effort produces jolts of energy and satisfaction for Bledsoe that flow into other aspects of her life. She encourages others to step out and try new things, even the improbable.

“I’ve learned the hard way that staying in your comfort zone doesn’t serve you in the long run,” she said. “Growing means learning to take risks and navigate new challenges. Trying new things builds courage, opens the path to discipline, nourishes your soul, and introduces you to new skills, mentors and communities.

“For me, there were physical, mental and emotional boundaries I needed to cross, and boxing came along at just the right time. And even though it was incredibly challenging, the biggest surprise of all was discovering the great joy unleashed by doing it.”

She had her first fight, and win, at age 45, and is now a licensed master boxer. Bledsoe also writes a boxing and life blog, at theglowingedge.com.

“Learning to box taught me to how to name, fight for and win the life I had always longed for,” Bledsoe said. “I plan to box for as long as I can!”

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