Geoff Nicol, MD, Navy Blue Design Group:
I'm fascinated by boxing - to me it’s about confronting fear, controlling adrenalin, discipline of mind and body and total commitment. Although until now I've never had to think about it too much. I just knew I wanted to have a go.
But what I can say is that I'm a better person for it. More focused, less stressed, less aggressive, calmer and certainly more measured. When I finish a session, any harboured angst has gone and tension has dissipated. A calm descends - its cathartic.
At my age and level it’s less about skill, and speed and more about mental approach and commitment. I like that. I like that your own efforts are directly proportionate to your results. It’s a control thing I guess.
I also like the basic and primal aspect of the sport. Far from automation, technology and assisted performance. No software. No bullshit. No politics.
The camaraderie is fantastic. Old-fashioned values prevail - respect, pride, honesty. There is nothing more real and nothing so true as your own performance in the ring. It reflects you. It is you. End of... The measure of a man is not how many times he gets knocked down but the manner in which he picks himself up again. It never was about being the best. It was to understand who you really are and to be happy with that! No small thing. "
Dr Cecilia d'Felice's psychological interpretation:
This portrait of Geoff Nicol is inspirational yet not a little punishing! It suggests a man who has suffered, who has picked himself up over and over, prepared to start again. A man who takes on massive challenges. Is curious enough about life to pit himself against the odds, knowing he can reach down to huge personal depths and draw on rich internal resources.
He is poised. His guard not down, yet also not so defended that his eye is not on opportunity. There is both vulnerability and strength, he is cornered but he is not beaten. He probably appreciates the wisdom in learning to lose a battle to win a war.
The photograph suggests a history that has not been without its losses. The past has not been easy, but the fighter in Geoff overcomes. One imagines that he has developed the ability to consistently bounce back with humour and tenacity. His journey more important than the destination. Who he is as a man more vital and meaningful to him than external totems of success.