A journey towards boxing
Boxing to different people epitomises different things and definitely creates different emotional responses. For some itís the thrill of being in a ring imagining the crowd roaring its approval and landing that mighty blow that fells a worthy opponent. For some itís the opportunity to release all the stress and tension that everyday life manages to create with such ease. The force of the blow and the dynamic speed all allowing an endorphin release that can prove quite heady. And for some itís the joy of learning a totally new skill and set of techniques that on the surface look simple but are in essence intricate and complex. For me itís the enjoyment of a workout that punishes my body to the utmost, allowing my muscles to strain and ache and my co-ordination and responsiveness to be tested.
My first advent into what I would call serious boxing i.e. working with someone who has actually boxed or has material qualifications in the sport was an eye opener. I thought I was fit, I thought I could box, I was so very wrong. A fact which I discovered when I was gasping for breath leaning on the ropes with my trainer casually informing me that we were still in the warm up phase. Exhausting yes but incredibly fulfilling particularly as the ensuing sessions saw me spending more time in the ring rather than leaning on it and thoroughly loving the enhanced power I could capture into my punches. I found it quite a dichotomy that I as someone who abhors and avoids violence of any kind enjoys so much the ritual beating up of the focus pads.
The initial sessions were also alarming in the sheer amount of energy expended through moving properly around a ring. If you want a great cardio session and aspire to lose weight then boxing is definitely a strong contender. For such a small area the degree and amount of traversing the area is immense and I soon learnt to become particularly rapid when I discovered my trainer not averse to swatting me with his pads if I wasnít swift and light on my feet. A very different experience to my prior largely static boxercise and boxing workouts. There is something pleasantly smug and fulfilling about ďescapingĒ in time and the swats prove a great incentive to do so. The light swat is far from painful to the physique but each one hits that part of my soul and mind that wants to be good at all I attempt, even if my skills and bodyshape donít always accord to my aspirations.
My other aspect of total enjoyment with boxing is that, whilst on the surface, it appears simple it has many deviations and hence continual learning. Remembering and working a correct sequence of high numbers of combination punches seemed way beyond me. And attacking whilst simultaneously defending was a technical challenge that my co-ordination certainly hadnít encountered previously. The ability to defend, dodge, move, in so many variants got me tangled and un-balanced and the continual emphasis on breathing correctly was an eye opener. When my trainer would swoop on me to pressurise me into an attack combination I would yelp and leap backwards in alarm. And yet I tackle these evolving stages gradually, safe in the knowledge that my trainer is an expert and I do progress and I do feel proud. And then the next challenge is presented to me and I feel like the total beginner that in reality I still am. To achieve the ultimate in boxing requires considerable time, dedication and passion, far more than I am ever likely to expend. Progressing along the path to being passable is as much as Iíll probably achieve but whilst itís this much fun Iím happy to tread that path.
The author of this article became so impassioned about personal training as a result of having lost over 6 stones (84 lbs) in weight through it that she created her own training studio Ė ignitePT - offering personal training and class sessions.
Boxing as a beginner
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