The Boxer: My Journey to Lifelong Health and Fitness by Ron Smith978-1-925739-84-8, 978-1-925739-97-8 **Price includes shipping within Australia**
The Boxer: My Journey to Lifelong Health and Fitness
When Ron suggested to his wife that he wanted to leave his well-paid job with the state government so that he could help people become fit and healthy, her reaction was, “Who the hell would pay you to do that?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “But let’s make it work.”
So began The Centre for Lifelong Health and Fitness in Mt Eliza, a pretty bayside community on the Mornington Peninsula, one hour south of Melbourne, Victoria.
And so continued Ron’s journey towards his own health, fitness and personal growth, a path that hasn’t always been straightforward. In fact, Ron was told in his mid-thirties that if he didn’t improve his lifestyle, he probably wouldn’t live to see forty.
Ron heeded that severe wake-up call and, over the next year, managed to stop drinking completely and lose almost 30 kilograms of unhealthy weight.
Then he started running marathons. Not long after that it was ultramarathons.
This sounds like an extraordinary attitude change, until you learn that Ron had won three Victorian amateur boxing championships in his youth. He had indeed trialled for the Commonwealth Games and the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Here was a complex, sometimes flawed individual with massive energy, an addictive personality, and not always the right outlets to showcase the best version of himself.
The Boxer is Ron’s story, told in his own words. Another remarkable achievement from a kid who left school aged just 13 with a dream of being a jockey, who got in trouble with the law and discovered boxing at the Police Youth Boys Club, and who as a young man survived the manic world of high-rise construction and rose through the ranks to become a site foreman and eventually a government safety inspector.
Throughout this heartwarming book, Ron’s shares his sometimes wild journey with great candour. He also shares, amongst his personal battles with alcohol, guilt and poor choices, the struggle to be a good husband, father and family man.
Most importantly, he shares some remarkable successes that he believes everyone can achieve – if we’re prepared to learn about ourselves, get out of our comfort zone and spend time in positive environments in which we can thrive.
To come full circle, that’s the message Ron currently shares with hundreds of clients at The Centre for Lifelong Health and Fitness: that we can all strive to be our best, regardless of genetics, age or past lifestyle choices.
“I love what Ron and I do during our Tuesday morning sessions, as we do things that are so different from any other health professionals that I have worked with. The routines take me back to my boxing days because we work with medicine balls and punching combinations. I look forward to our weekly catch ups and am very grateful for Ron’s time. We work out, but also laugh a lot too and reminisce about old times and people we knew. Sometimes I slip and punch Ron in the guts!”
Now aged 74 but still incredibly active with his fitness business – as well as teaching countless schoolkids about the noble art of boxing and self-defence at his and his wife Sharyn’s other passion, the Mt Eliza Boxing Centre – Ron’s story spans his childhood in post-war Melbourne, sporting career, family blessings and trials, and even spiritual travels as he and Sharyn push to expand their own comfort zones.
Straightforward and bravely honest, The Boxer is a gentle autobiography about a man who left school at a young age to go ride horses and, in a roundabout way, found an inspirational life.
Trim size: 6 x 9 inches (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Page count: 239
Internal pages: B&W