NCL – Alan

“Boxing is not just a place to get off steam for an hour or two. It gave me a framework for my life. It was so hard when I was younger. I hated that I could not stay out late drinking with friends because I had to train the next day or I’d have to eat a salad while everyone else got burgers and steaks. I believe now that you need to face mental and physical challenges in life to be prepared for the curve balls that life throws at you. In 2018, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour after an assumed sinus infection that had taken way too long to recover from. It all happened very quickly. I was scheduled for brain surgery only a couple of months later. As strange as it sounds, I didn’t really freak out at any moment. I think largely because they provided a roadmap through surgery and the recovery, which was all too familiar. I am well-conditioned to sudden lifestyle changes through boxing. I am used to following strict diets and strenuous training plans. Although the recovery was really hard, it was also much faster than expected. It was definitely a few steps back in my boxing career as I had to learn how to walk again. I applied everything I learned from boxing to my recovery. It was like a training plan for a boxing match except I was learning to walk. I was so focused. I wanted to prove myself. When the physio was coming in, she was always amazed by the rate I was progressing. The doctors were saying that the rate of my recovery was exceptional and they let me go after just five days. I also got the all-clear only a few months after and it’s been all clear since then. I am sure that if I hadn’t been made mentally headstrong through boxing, the recovery would have taken much longer. It was definitely a tough one, but a payoff for the skipped burgers and pints. “

This post was highlighted by South Dublin Libraries as part of the ‘A Day in the Life’ Series.

‘A Day in the Life’ Series is a collaboration with South Dublin Libraries through the Dormant Account Funds. We created a series of interviews to get a glimpse into the lives of the people living in the North Clondalkin area. North Clondalkin Libraries will host the entire series as an exhibition in early 2022, as soon as restrictions allow.