Knocking out stress

I climb mountains ( to attain a spiritual, physical and emotional inner peace that sipping Red Stripe on a Jamaican beach simply can't match.

I run and workout in Kangoo Pro boots ( to attain an endorphin high that has to be the fitness world's answer to crystal meth.
Steve eric  JPGBut, I box to knock out stress. Period. And, I do it with my good friend, and boxing/wellness trainer, Eric Daniels (

I grew up watching Muhammad Ali cut a wide swath through the heavyweight ranks while winning the world title for an unprecedented three times. Ali, along with Sir Mick Jagger and Joe Willie Namath, were my childhood idols. But I never, ever, imagined myself entering the ring, singing lead on 'Gimme Shelter' or leading the Jets to an improbable Super Bowl victory.

My opportunity to change one of those suppositions came when I met Eric, who is a serious boxer in the midst of training for the Golden Gloves tournament before turning pro in the next 18 months.

Eric, or E, as everyone calls him, has painstakingly taught me the nuances of the so-called Sweet Science. And, while I'd watched countless bouts on the boob tube (and in-person), I'd never fully appreciated the footwork, defensive skills and mental alertness needed to succeed in boxing.

I'd liken the sport to an intense combination of ballroom dancing, weight lifting, Zumba and chess. I included chess because boxing is all about strategy and anticipation. Success is predicated on mastering the distance, speed, power and angles that exist between you and your opponent. And, trust me, understanding how to identify an opportunity, attack or defend while anticipating your next step and punch combination is akin to taking an advanced course in geometry (a subject I positively detested in high school, BTW).

There is no better way to relieve stress than tearing into a heavy bag, trying to catch up with a speed bag or executing on E's instructions: “All right sDot (my nickname), I want a double jab, followed by a duck, followed by a left cross, right hook, two uppercuts and a body shot. Got it? C'mon, you can do it!” And, sometimes I'll nail E's commands and, on most other occasions, I'll become hopelessly confused.

But, it doesn't matter. E is not only there to teach, prod and motivate but, critically, he trains right alongside me. So, he leads by example. I cannot tell you what a difference that makes.

How many of you have signed up for sessions with a personal trainer only to find the latter texting and talking on her phone while you're knocking off a set of lifts? Talk about bogus!

As was the case with comedy, climbing and Kangoo, I've turned my employees on to the world of Eric Daniels. They don't box with him. But, they do partake in five-week wellness programs that he tailors for each participant (and which include nutritional advice, personal training and group exercise).

Think about boxing the next time a client fires you for no reason. Or, when your significant other yells at you for leaving the house lights on. It also works like a charm when that white hot new business lead you've been pursuing for months just goes dark.

Boxing knocks out stress. As Joe Willie Namath would say, “I guarantee it.”

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