If you’re looking for a new mountain to climb, look no further than your local boxing gym.

Obviously there are a lot of differences. The grand vistas of peaks are replaced by the cold concrete and wooden beams of the gym. The rushing wind is replaced by the moist smells of men and women pushing themselves and their bodies to new limits. The hours of humping a backpack full of gear up steep mountainsides are replaced by hours of cardio, mitt and foot work. There is a world of difference, but there are also undeniable commonalities. Grit, determination and even comradery can also be found in the gym.

Boxing is one of those things in life where you literally control what you get out of it.

Those are your feet that are moving, your legs skipping rope, your hands working the speed bag and your mind pushing yourself through some truly arduous workouts. Unless you are a pro fighter that has sponsors and other commitments, no one is going to be pushing you off your couch to train. No one else is going to strap on your shoes in the morning and run those miles. This in and of itself is a great challenge. Training in boxing practically forces you to face this particular challenge, the challenge of motivation and will, on a daily basis.

You may be saying, But it’s only cardio or It’s only one session that I missed. Remember that boxing itself is a combat sport. Practiced in some way for hundreds of thousands of years and made into an official sport within the last millennia, boxing was meant to pit your will against that of another, using fists as the medium. Miss one cardio session or skills class too many and your body will pay the price. You may not be able to keep up with the class or may take more punches in sparring, or may not even last entire rounds. There is no hiding when it comes to boxing and it will demand from you commitment and will as much as speed and power.

Like many worthwhile endeavors training in boxing should be fun, but an intense kind of fun.

Climbing a mountain can be a fun hike, or you can push yourself to take harder routes or maybe speed climb it. The same goes with boxing. It can be a leisurely cardio session or you can push yourself to get the absolute most of each class. Boxing give you the opportunity to unleash your potential whether through the mastery of technique, building raw strength and power or a combination of both. Some may claim that boxing is a blood sport based on aggression, and there may be some truth in that, but it is more accurate to think of it as focused intensity.

Boxing will give you an outlet to grow, and that growth will be directly proportional to the amount of intensity you exert to face the kind of challenge you choose boxing to be.