It’s ironic that a sport sometimes decided by a single knockout punch is also one that requires endurance and perseverance strong enough to withstand the body being pushed to its limit.
Boxing, as it happens, is also a perfect life metaphor for George Washington University senior business student Jatin Nayyar, which is perhaps why he’s so riveted by it.
Up to six times a week, Nayyar, who is concentrating in sports management, puts his body through hell during a robust training session. He goes back and forth between sparring in the ring, jabbing and crossing on punching bags for minutes on end before heading straight to the back hallway for a medicine ball routine. No matter how much it hurts and how much he might want it to end, his fortitude fends off the doubt. And he’ll do it again the next day.
That’s how Nayyar has lived his life since age 8, when he was first diagnosed with Tourette syndrome.
Taking the punch
For the past 13 years, the jabs he’s most used to are the tics that dislocate his rib or cause him to blurt out sounds that elicit stares from those around him. According to the Mayo Clinic, Tourette syndrome is a nervous system disorder involving repetitive movements or unwanted sound. Not only can the sudden movements hinder quality of life, but the syndrome is associated with conditions that include ADHD, OCD, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety and anger. There are also serious side effects such as dizziness, headache and dehydration.
Nayyar has been hospitalized nearly 100 times due to tic attacks. Once, in fact, he lost 40 pounds in two weeks because of the profuse sweating that came with a steady barrage of tics. Neurologists told him that they had never seen a recurrence episode quite like it. Twice while attending high school at the Ranney School in New Jersey, he had to take a medical leave—once for Tourette syndrome and the other for his mental health.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t see much of a future past high school,” Nayyar said.
He felt angry. A lot. And even though he had what he describes as an incredibly strong support system at home and at school, he didn’t know of anyone else going through the daily grind he experienced.
“I had no one to look up to and nobody I could see,” Nayyar said. “I just needed some input and advice. My whole life, I’ve been searching for that.”
The search, which had him cross dark valleys and seemingly unending roads, ultimately led him right back to where it started. Because on his journey, he found that in himself.
Giving the punch
2018 was a pivotal year in Nayyar’s life. He was formally diagnosed with depression, and it was during this time that he most questioned his own will to live. But it was also the year he took it upon himself to challenge the stigmas that so heavily consumed him. He founded Just A Label, a platform that promotes mental health and disability awareness. He started to own this part of him and continued…
Read More: Boxing through Life’s Challenges: The Inspirational Journey of Jatin Nayyar | GW 2023-09-20 15:39:10