10-Minute Hero: a Live Hard experiment

Part of the problem with living hard is that it leaves you without much spare time. For instance, I already have a job, go to the gym in three of my five lunch hours, do Brazilian jiu-jitsu every night that there isn’t a compelling reason not to (drinking or date night, basically), climb at the weekends, cook most of my own food and spend most of the rest of my time with my girlfriend, who is lovely and very tolerant of all the other stuff (though we do deadlift together sometimes). 

The trouble is, I desperately want to get good at boxing. 

I love watching people hit each other, in a professional setting with rules and a referee. I think that when it’s well done, it’s fantastic. I’ve dabbled in learning it before, but I’ve never really found a systematic way to get ‘good’ at it. Most coaches just teach the basics (jab, straight, hook, uppercut, a handful of kicks) and then some combinations, but they never lay out much in the way of strategy. Without getting into it too much, I’ve found a book I reckon will do the job – Elementary Striking, by the incomparable Jack Slack – but I have no spare time. 

So I’m going to try an experiment. 

For the next month, I’m going to spend 10 minutes a day practising my boxing. Everyone has 10 minutes – you could just wake up slightly earlier, or go to bed fractionally later, or not spend your lunchtime with Youtube and a sandwich, or stop watching so much CSI. Depending on how warmed up I am, I’ll be using mine to shadowbox, but you could do anything in yours. Go through kanji flashcards. Practice dance steps. Learn about C++. Write a book. The last one doesn’t sound doable, but if you wrote 100 words a day for the next 30 days, you’d end up writing 3,000 words – which is probably more than you wrote last month. Obviously you could think about what you were going to do in those mindless other moments of your day – your commute, your coffee run – and you could always do more if you found time. Would you get better at what you practised? I don’t know. Would you get worse? It’s pretty unlikely. Would you have wasted your time? In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much time.

So that’s the next 30 days. I’ll be posting about other things, but I’ll be boxing every day, for 10 minutes a day, for a month. Who’s with me?

HOMEWORK: 10 minutes a day. That thing you’ve been wanting to work on. 

About the author


Editor and creator of Live Hard. Fighting enthusiast, steak lover and aficionado of all things self-improvement related.


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