Jab, jab, hook

Finding confidence in basic sequences

I’ve started boxing. Just the rather less combative “boxercise” version — there are no gum shields or rings or capes or squirting of water and pep talks. So there’s no actual head impact, which, of course, is possibly not great for memory…

In my tame version the set up is simple. Arrive, do a ‘warm up’ whilst starring at all your wobbly bits wobble in a mirror as you jump up and down waving your arms. The warm up leaves you utterly shagged and not at all ready to do boxing, but then you smack on a pair of gloves or pads, pair up with someone and pray they a) can take a punch but b) also not punch you in the face. It’s great for focus, for venting and… for memory.

Just as a quick caveat — I do actually have a memory. I work hard and recall complicated things all the time. But it’s the confidence in my memory that I lack.

So here comes the boxing vs mind bit. You quickly have to learn a short sequence of about 5 moves, or 3 then 5 moves alternation. Jab, jab, cross, upper hook, jab, side. Cross, cross, jab, slip, cross, jab. Or something. It takes me a bit to get to grips with — but I know I will. And that’s what has changed. I’ve got a new found confidence in my memory, it’s not a game changer but I’ve really noticed a difference. It’s like learning a dance sequence at school or a list of French vocab, I knew I could and now I remember that I can. It’s pretty amazing just having a teeny bit more confidence in your own memory, knowing that you will eventually get to grips with this. It is in your head. You can recall it, use it, argue it. I even know my boyfriends number now… well. Almost.

There’s evidence that exercise in general is great for your memory, but I’ve really found just having confidence in remembering basic sequences has really helped me.

In summary: take up something active that requires even the tiniest bit of sequence and memory. Recite a poem, dance, box.


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