The Fighter

“Makes me that much strongerMakes me work a little bit harder It makes me that much wiser So thanks for making me a fighter” -- Christina Aguilera

There are two things I have always secretly wished I could do:

(1) Run away with the circus (2) Do a real life montage to Eye of The Tiger.

So I enrolled in some boxing classes to see how I’d feel after:

(1) Getting through a decent workout (I underestimated how hard boxing is… quite substantially) (2) Trying my left, left, rights at something totally new.

Just to clarify, I am well aware that boxing sessions are in no way going to aid my secret desire to run away with the circus, this is a completely unrelated activity to my circus running away plot.

When you watch boxing, ok I’ll be honest, I don’t think I have ever watched a boxing match in my life, I much prefer to sit back and watch the WWE if I’m going to watch anything, it’s way more entertaining, there’s no blood and the over acting is just hilarious, surely the rating on the WWE is Comedy? Anyway, I haven’t watched boxing but I’ve seen the Rocky movies and a documentary on Mike Tyson, it’s called Beyond The Glory, which is also a cool name for a brothel. Anyway he has a really hectic life story so it’s definitely worth a watch. In those brief brushes with the boxing trade, I noticed a few things about boxers;

- They do a lot of and are very good at skipping - They wear baggy but high waist shorts, not boxer shorts - They are super fit

I enrolled in a Boxing session to see how fit I really was and to learn a new set of skills. It’s a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. Sorry I totally just quoted Liam Neeson in the movie Taken, for no real reason other than the fact that I started talking about skills. I’m not a secret agent on the side… or am I?

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Corporate Fight Gym in the city is where I rocked up, a little nervous. My active wear was perhaps a little too coordinated, but hopefully I would be as coordinated as my outfit. With my hair slicked back in a ponytail so everyone knew I meant business I grabbed a skipping rope and started jumping because that’s what the trainer was telling everyone to do, I had a question though, how long were we supposed to skip for? Do you know how hard skipping is, I mean, I can skip like a couple of schoolgirls through a playground, but after a minute, it gets really hard. I’m used to working out at F45 where there is a dirty big and loud timer in the room, counting down your reps and sets, so you know how many more seconds you need to push your little body until you get a short break. There were zero clocks here, it was down to the trainer and his watch, a very nice watch at that, unless it was a knock off.

So here we all are, a real mix of people, all skipping and I managed to get the rope that was designed for the BFG, the longest possible rope in history, but knowing I was on the watch, I doubled it around my hands which already had boxing straps on and persisted with skipping as fast as I could.

Then it was ropes down and we had to do a bunch of sit ups, then a wall sits, with no hands, then push ups, then more sit up and then more push ups. Then we had to run all the way downstairs and back up again. Then we completed an AMWRAP for time of push-ups, sit ups, superman’s and star jumps. You know an AMWRAP, round one of the four exercise is 30 reps of everything, then 20, then 15 and finally 10 rep of each exercise. Not that I am super competitive or anything, but I pushed myself so hard to make sure I finished in the top three, I did. Just.

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Despite being totally spent energy wise after all that, I did think to myself that I hadn’t laid a punch into anything as yet, however, as the thought crossed my mind swimming with endorphins, the trainer instructed us to put our gloves on and front up to a boxing bag. Our aim was to lay into it until we were told to stop. Which felt like forever. I was throwing jabs, hooks, upper cuts, lots and lots of upper cuts, creating one two one combos, saying random numbers in my head, dancing my feet back and forth like I was Red Foo shuffling. I even threw in a few kicks just for good measure, as the one Mauy Thai class I did in Thailand randomly came flooding back to my body. I felt like a Ninja. It was like there was nobody else there. For a brief moment in time, with Eye of The Tiger as my personal soundtrack, playing in my head louder than the actual Sean Paul song in the class, I was recreating a Rocky montage, as sweat dipped down to my elbows and I whipped around my ponytail with one head flick.

The final countdown to the class was a sparring session, I was partnered up with a girl who could pass for my younger sister with more perfect eyebrows, we followed the lead of the partners next to us by copying their combos. Jab, cross hook, duck, cross, cross, uppercut. Jab cross, crap, I forgot. It didn’t take long for the movement to flow, as I threw back to my dancing days, my actual dance class days, not the days in Da Club. As I was trying to feel the movements in my body rather than remember the name of them, it helped immensely and before I knew it was I ducking, jabbing and upper cutting like a pro. It felt like a dance. Or maybe I was the dance.

After the whistle blew, actually now that I think about it, there was no whistle, just the trainer saying time was up, we lapped the room and high fived everyone, I found a space next to the mirror and gracefully collapsed taking in as much air as I could as I unwrapped my shaking hands. That was a workout worthy of a lightweight title.

Despite being unable to shovel paleo granola into my mouth for breakfast the next day, or wave at anyone, I’ll be back there next week. I like this place.