Hamlin On My Mind (words that have resonated with me)

I have been boxing at Hamlin Park for a little over a month; Bill is the head instructor. For those of you interested in working out more/trying something new: I highly recommend boxing at Hamlin Park. It’s only $43 bucks for about 14 weeks and it’s open 5 days a week from *3pm to 8pm (*saturdays: 11am-3pm).

But I digress… anyway, I love Bill. He’s a great instructor and pushes you to work hard (he never yells at you for slacking off, but his sass stings like getting shampoo straight in your eye). Overall, Bill is a lovely individual who has shared not only his boxing expertise but his wit and wisdom.

Here are some of his sayings that have stuck with me:

1. “It doesn’t cost ya nothin”

Bill says this for everything: throw a couple jabs it doesn’t cost ya nothing. Throw some combos it doesn’t cost ya nothing. Come down to the gym it doesn’t cost ya nothing. I love this because it’s basically the equivalent of “go for it” and this theme of “why not?” is why I began boxing in the first place.
a. “except in New York, you have to pay to throw jabs in New York”
Bill randomly tacked this onto his “it doesn’t cost ya nothin'” quote. As a Chicagoan I just appreciate this brand of humor.

2. “You have your youth, your health, and you’re in school. What more could you want?”
This was just a nice reminder for me to appreciate everything I have and to be proud of all that I’m accomplishing.
a. “A
 lot right?”.
I love that immediately after that Bill added “a lot right?” because while I am making a lot of progress I can always (and am always) pushing for more.


  • Bill: how do you feel?
  • ___: good.
  • Bill: No, like boxing. You don’t come here to feel good, when you leave here you feel good.
    This definitely carries over into other facets  of life as well. It’s about doing everything you do with intention and enthusiasm. We go places for a specfic purpose and our responses should reflect that. I am a firm believer that the way we phrase things can alter our moods and mindsets: ex. saying you want to/hope to do ____ vs. saying you will do ____. I’m going to keep Bill’s phrasig in mind from here on out: In the classroom, I feel like discussing the reading. In the library, I feel like studying. In the gym, I feel like working out. In the coffeeshop, I feel like blogging.


  • A fellow beginner: “I want to be him”
  • ___: “No, don’t be anybody but yourself”
    this one didn’t come from Bill but I had to include this classic advice. Be you. Personally, I admire a lot of people. I see my peers excelling, I see my all the great things my favorite profs have accomplished, and I can’t help but think: damn, I want to be on that level (and sometimes: Damn, I’ll never be on that level). But I have to keep in mind that’s not me and that’s okay. It’s about being the best me I can be.


  • Bill: How are you?
  • ___: can’t complain
  • Bill: yeah, no one will listen anyway. Can’t complain OR brag, no one wants to hear that.
    This is my absolute favorite quote from Bill because it’s something that I really believe in. Like anyone, I have my moments where I really just need to vent. But I keep it at a minimum, because negativity doesn’t help the situation and no one wants to hear that (even if someone is willing to hear you out, it’s not a fun time).  And while it’s good to feel confident bragging can isolate your peers and as my brother says “you never want to get too high or too low, you want to keep your composure. It keeps you centered and focussed [on the task at hand]”.

Boxing at Hamlin has given me so much more than boxing basics and a place to workout. It’s made me more confident, determined, and (of course) fit. And Bill’s words and positive outlooks are going to stay with me throughout the years.

So even when I return to the hilltop I’m going to have Hamlin on my mind.


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