As I think I said in yesterday’s post, I have recently taken up a new sport, and I absolutely love it!  For years I have wanted to learn some kind of combat sport, and I have looked at various martial arts etc but never chosen anything to try… until now!  Some time ago, I asked my PT if I could do a little bit of boxing in our sessions, and after the first couple I had enjoyed it so much that he started using it as the reward at the end of my sessions.  I asked him, then, if he could recommend somewhere I could go to learn “proper” boxing (as opposed to the energetic, technique-free punching I do in PT sessions).  The place that he recommended is, in a strange coincidence, a gym that rents its premises from the company I work for – so I can go straight from work.  I have had three sessions so far, and I can already feel an improvement in both my technique and my fitness.  I also think it is helpful with the psychological and emotional problems I’ve been having recently – enabling me to get the frustration out rather than internalising it as I usually do (which is definitely harmful.)

The first two sessions were mostly focussed on technique – I learnt different types of punches, correct stance and the all-important defence!  The trainer, Richard, was also horrified to learn that I knew only a tiny amount of self-defence, so he insisted on throwing some of that into the mix as well.  He is a great teacher, I think he went easy on me for the first couple of sessions though!  He seems pleased with my progress, even if he spends a lot of time shouting at me to keep my hands up, and I am definitely pleased with how I’m going.  My session last week, as I’d learnt the basic combinations, consisted of practising the combinations again, followed by 5 two-minute “rounds” with the punchbag, with one-minute breaks.  I know, I know: that doesn’t sound like much, but believe me it was very high intensity!  Sorry to share this gross fact with you, but I was absolutely soaked with sweat by the end of the session.  I truly enjoyed it though, finally I have found another sport that I can practise alone and that I love as much as swimming!

There are a couple of things I want to mention, just because they are a really big deal for me – even though they might sound silly to most!  They are basically things that I don’t care about when I’m boxing – probably because I feel so focussed when I do it.  Firstly, I’m boxing at what I would (in a very sexist way I know – sorry) call a “man gym”, by which I mean there are very few cardio-type machines – in fact I think there may only be treadmills, bikes and rowers – and a LOT of weights, and it is usually filled with very muscular men of all ages; normally I’d find this kind of atmosphere quite intimidating in the beginning, but I can genuinely say that I really didn’t bother me.  I also didn’t notice, until it was pointed out to me, that people have been watching my sessions.  Usually I’m very self-conscious, especially in the gym, but I think that I have been concentrating so hard on improving that I never realised that people were looking.  And finally, when I do most workouts, it often bothers me when I start to get out of breath/heart racing/sweating, but with boxing, all I feel is a sense of pride that I’m working so hard – and that it’s paying off!

My next session is tomorrow, and Richard has threatened me with “conditioning”; I’m not sure exactly what he means by that but I’m fairly sure it’s going to involve weights!  I hope that I will still get to put the gloves on, but either way I can’t wait!

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