Punching My Way to Happiness

By: Dana Zillgitt, Regular Contributor

Recently, I made the decision to simply be, to choose happiness, to choose the light. I so often find myself reveling in what isn’t instead of what is. My journey of self-reflection starts with deciding to be lifted instead of being dragged down.

But I realize choosing happiness is about so much more than just saying it over and over again. It’s about being it, as cheesy as that sounds. But it’s true. Life is all about the little things; it’s about seeing the silver lining, even if it seems like it’s a bit dim and flickering. And now that I sound like a self-help ad or something, time to take a step back and mention what I’m actually doing to maintain that happiness. Because it’s about habits, right? And strangely, those healthy habits mostly involve boxing gloves and a 75-pound punching bag. 

Kickboxing has been the stress reliever I’ve been looking for and then some. It’s been brilliant to be able to punch something without having to worry about needing a formal police escort somewhere. Plus, this form of martial arts is a great way to get back in shape and actually feel like I’d be able to defend myself in case something ever happens, again.


And I realized my best friend put it best—kickboxing is keeping me sane. It’s keeping me on the right track to maintaining that ever-elusive happiness that I thought I wouldn’t be able to catch again. It’s keeping me from the brink I know well as well as helping push me over the right kind of edge. Kickboxing, even though I’ve only taken a handful of classes, is helping me get back on track. It’s helping me get back to me, to somebody I thought I’d lost. And the woman I’m seeing now isn’t as strong as she used to be. But she’s getting there. And it’s a beautiful thing to be getting back to happy.

So what am I trying to say? Find your happiness. Find your stress reliever. Find it within yourself that you’re more than a Maybelline commercial because you’re so much more than worth it. And find it within yourself to remember that Dumbledore was also right—happiness can be found even in the darkest of places, if we only remember to turn on the light. Happiness can be found anywhere.

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About Dana

dana_z.jpgDana has her BA in International Affairs & Spanish as well as a mild obsession with rescue animals and all things caffeinated. She’s mastered the art of the selfie, fort building, and even the sass battle. Plus, she can quote 95% of Anchorman and Zoolander.




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  • commented 2015-03-28 16:59:34 -0700
    Thanks Dana! I find the one place I can totally just be is at the gym. I sometimes feel guilty about it. But I am learning to just be more everywhere and enjoy it.

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