It Packs a Punch

If you read my first round of blogs, you may remember “In a Rut, Mix it up”.  In that blog I talked about if your workout routine gets stale, you should find other activities to keep motivated and see different results.  It was then that I shared with my readers that I had found a new workout obsession- BOXING!  If you had told me that I would ever take a boxing class, I would have said you had lost your damn mind.  And if you had told me I would love it, I would have slapped you in the face and screamed “Liar”!

It started back in 2015. Some friends were taking this boxing class and kept asking me to try it with them. I kept politely declining.  But what I really wanted to say is, “when pigs fly out of my butt!” I just kept thinking about how ridiculous I would look trying to box.  On top of that, these friends were already in tip-top shape.  No way could I perform at their level.  And finally, the class was in Cross Lanes after work.  To paint a picture, you would be more excited to have a colonoscopy than to drive in Cross Lanes rush hour traffic.

Because the class was just 4 people and all my gym family, I eventually gave in and said I would try it, dreading it the whole time.  The day came and I reluctantly showed up with fake enthusiasm.  The class is set up as 4 stations, 3 minutes each station, 3 rounds with a minute rest between each round. That’s a total of 12 stations, about a 45 minute class.  The instructor introduces himself, shows me some basic boxing moves and we get started.  After the first round I was HOOKED, jabbed and uppercut, to put it mildly.  I was knocked out at how much I liked it. I had never felt so alive and near death at the same time. I even bought my own boxing gloves.Boxing gloves meme

Then another race came up and I started focusing on just walking and training for the race and stopped going.  I missed it.  But I had to focus on the race and not risk any avoidable injuries.  After the race was over there were other excuses.  If I haven’t mentioned it before (I have), I am the best at making excuses and convincing myself they are legit. They never are.  After a while I just forgot about it and had to focus on family responsibilities.

Flash forward to about a month ago.  I was at the gym and saw some folks taking a boxing class. I decided I was going to do it the next week. We started by warming up with some footwork exercises. Then we did some punching moves in the air.  Finally we got to punch the bag and spar with the instructor.  From the first contact, it was like I never stopped.  The adrenaline was pumping. The fists were pumping.  The blood was pumping.  And I realized how much I missed it.  I took it one or two other times. This class was much more subdued than my previous experience.  I felt like it was a great stepping stone for me, as I was getting back into being active. I needed to work my way up to the hard core stuff.  With the foundation from the gym classes, I decided to get serious again!Boxing Fit- Freddy

One of our original class mates, my friend Tracy, was still taking the class.  I reached out to her and she was thrilled that I wanted to come back.  I also contacted the owner/instructor who was equally as enthusiastic and supportive.  And since the first time, the studio had moved to Nitro, much more accessible and no more rush hour road rage.  I had no excuses.  Don’t’ get me wrong, I was still nervous because I hadn’t done that intense of a class in 2 years.  What if I have a heart attack? Even worse, what if I embarrass myself?  That would be tragic!

The new location is so much bigger, with more equipment and better air circulation. Again removing some of the obstacles I used for excuses before.  Of the 7 people that did the class, including myself, 5 were familiar faces from last time.  That’s a pretty impressive retention rate! It also helped me to relax a little bit knowing that those folks would encourage me for the things I could do, not judge me for the things I couldn’t. The time had come. I mentally put on my big girl panties, gloved up and we got started.

As I remembered, the stations were pretty much the same.  Also as I remember, if you can’t do something just modify.  The key is to just keep active.  One of the stations combines jumping rope and a :30 power play with the ropes. I can’t do ropes because of my neck.  So I do a wall sit during that time.  I know you’re asking yourself, how hard is it to sit on a wall?  After jumping rope for 2:30 minutes, your legs aren’t exactly fresh and staying at a 90 degree angle for :30 isn’t easy. Another station is 20 pushups and 20 squats before you start working the bag.  I can’t do pushups because of carpal tunnel.  So I just do 40 squats.  And there is an ab station that is used as a “working rest station”.  I get very dizzy lying on a mat after that level of excursion. So instead of abs I do jumping jacks and calf lifts.  Not exactly “resting” but it’s better for me. The other station is my favorite.  That’s when we get to spar, hit stuff!  I love the feeling of hitting the mitts and hearing the sound of the contact.  Oh my God it is the best! The truth is, even though I love it, I am a terrible boxer. My form and speed need a lot of work. I know I shouldn’t be hard on myself because I’ve only been back at it for a few weeks. But honestly, I wasn’t great with form and speed before.  It doesn’t take away from my enthusiasm. And the instructor said he would work with me a little bit before each class to help with that.  I mean, if I’m going to do it I don’t want to settle for “this is good enough” when I can try and get better, faster and tougher.   Honestly, just writing this blog is getting me pumped for the next class.  I’m visualizing my punches while I’m writing. How weird is that?

Boxing Class- After picI only take the class once a week because it is pretty intense and I don’t want to get burned out.  When class is over I am a disgusting mess. Seriously.  Drenched in sweat, breathing heavy, red faced and usually my arms are shaking.  I have been known to wonder how I was able to drive home because my arms weren’t fully functioning.  Then to come home and find that washing my hair was also a challenge.  After awhile I realize I’m just putting my hands on my head to rest them, not actually scrubbing the scalp with the shampoo.  But at the same time, I’ve never felt better.

I am so grateful to Boxing Fit and Freddy Frye for bringing this amazing opportunity into my life.   I can’t say enough about the class, Freddy and the feeling of accomplishment you have afterward.  I would encourage everyone to try something they never thought they would do.  If boxing is that thing for you, I recommend Boxing Fit and will help you get in touch. Look them up on Facebook.  Whatever it is, don’t knock it until you try it.

For extra credit this week, see if you can find the boxing puns in this blog.  Hint: there are 4.

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