Many Sacramento State students utilize The Well to maintain their physical health and reduce stress. One such student is Balfour Brown, a 22-year-old economics major.
Brown uses The Well to train for his newly found hobby: boxing.
Brown began training six months ago and has progressed rapidly in his love of the sport as well as in his dedication to mastering the technique.
“Boxing isn’t just a sport that you jump into,” Brown said. “Everyone who boxes has a story that brought them here.”
Brown’s story began with a feeling of contempt toward the overly masculine stereotypes he felt compelled to fulfill. He didn’t feel in control, which eventually lead him to an unfortunate confrontation with another man.
“I got into a fight and the way I handled it was intriguing to me,” Brown said. “I was really calm and after the fight I wasn’t mad anymore at all. That made me feel like boxing would be fun and something I would be good at.”
Brown had always thought boxing was something he wanted to try but never had the motivation or support needed to begin such a demanding sport.
“My nephew boxes and he started supporting me in my hopes of learning the sport,” Brown said. “I realized it wasn’t just a sport but also an art.”
Since beginning his training, Brown has noticed boxing provides the perfect outlet for his pent-up stress and leaves him better equipped to deal with everyday situations.
“You would think there’s a lot of animosity within the sport but guys you just went to war with end up being your friend,” Brown said.
The intensity of the sport allows its participants to gain respect for one another.
“The other person is bringing everything to the table just like I am,” Brown said. “It makes for a different kind of understanding, an unspoken connection.”
Friends of Brown have noticed a change in him since his pursuit of boxing began.
“Since Balfour has taken up boxing he is much more confident, he seems better at brushing past the negative and pushing forward,” said Ibraham Dbouk.
Participating in a sport like boxing can give individuals an outlet for their frustrations which in turn allows them to be less aggressive in everyday environments.
“I feel like I’m a lot calmer in my relationships with people, I’m more empathetic and relaxed,” Brown said.
Boxing can teach its participants to be more aware of other’s emotions. This tactic used in the ring to gain a victory can be applied to many situations.
“I have a level of awareness in the ring that translates out of the ring,” Brown said. “I can pick up on peoples’ emotions and moods easier than I could before and it has helped my relationships.”
The potential for growth within the sport keeps Brown interested and eager to continue his training.
“He seems more excited about life and the opportunities that lie ahead,” said Grant Hall, a friend of Browns’. “Boxing acted like a spark that ignited his passion.”
The benefits of the sport vary from stress relief to getting a toned physique but the aspect of boxing that most captivates Brown is the potential for growth.
“You can always learn something new, no matter what,” Brown said.