Next to the late, great Mohammed Ali, one of the world’s most famous black boxers is … Nelson Mandela! Did you know he started boxing when he was a student at Fort Hare University in Transkei? He didn’t fight competitively but he said that – during the struggle years and his 27 years on Robben Island – the rigorous training routine was responsible for his physical health and peace of mind.
“Prison life is about routine: each day like the one before; each week like the one before it, so that the months and years blend into each other … I found that I worked better and thought more clearly when I was in good physical condition and so training became one of the inflexible disciplines of my life.”
Thanks to the Covid19 Lockdown, we’ve all got a better understanding of what Madiba’s confinement must have been like. Yet every morning, at 5am he managed to do a 45 minute workout in his tiny cell. Focusing on roadwork and muscle-building, he’d run on the spot for 45 minutes, then do 100 fingertip push-ups, 200 sit-ups, 50 deep knee-bends and finish off with squats and other gym exercises.
So if you’re feeling boxed in, give it a try – and let us know how you feel afterwards!