What I Learned
Boxing takes a crazy amount of endurance and patience.
When I got tired, I was still expected to keep moving. Tyler was super helpful, but I had no idea what I was doing, so he corrected me constantly. It could be frustrating at times, especially since all I wanted to do was punch the bag.
I’m grateful for this experience though. I’d highly recommend at least trying boxing once. The workout made me so sore and sweaty, the people were hilarious and friendly, it was all around a very positive experience.
10/10 would do again.
Stepping up to the plate and putting on the boxing ended up being way more fun than I originally expected.
When I first arrived to the gym, a receptionist led me to a room in the back. The room’s walls and floor were lined with blue pads which cushioned every step I took. A small group of people had arrived before me and were all putting on different colored hand wraps, greeting each other with friendly hellos. Everyone I met was nice and welcoming. If I had known boxing people were like this, I probably would have picked the sport up sooner!
All of a sudden, a loud clap split the conversations in two. Tyler, in bright red sweat pants and a beanie to keep the sweat out of his eyes, addressed the group. Before I could start putting on my own wraps and gloves, I had to stretch. Tyler suggested I focus most of my stretching on my lower back and legs. Apparently those would be the most sore the next day (spoiler: he was right).
As I stretched, I felt my stiff muscles loosened. After a long day of sitting in front of a computer, it felt nice to stretch out. I sat on the blue, plastic ground and touched my toes, the back of my legs breathing in deeply, then letting out a sigh of relief as I sat up straight again.
Although I hadn’t done any strenuous work yet, I was already sweating. If that isn’t a testament to how out of shape I am, I don’t know what is.
Before joining the rest of the group for some warm up exercises, I had a very nice man help me with the hand wraps. It was so confusing putting them on! I couldn’t follow what the guy was doing. All I knew was that the wraps were supposed to be firm around my hand but not constricting.
Once I rejoined the group, the real “fun” began. Tyler made us do 50 squats – 50!- before having us do a variety of mountain climbers, push-ups and so on. I thought my legs would fall right off!
At this point, exhaustion crept into my arms and legs and they began to shake even at the attempt of holding them up (I’m really weak y’all). That being said, I pushed through. If this was the only chance I got at being passionate about boxing, I wasn’t going to let weak arms stop me.
I learned the basic stance and punches. (Punch on one with your non-dominate hand and on two with your dominate hand.) Apparently, most boxing coaches don’t let beginners start using the bags until a few weeks of practicing the stance and basic moves. This is to learn muscle memory. I could tell some of my fellow beginners weren’t super excited at the idea of standing around and pretending to hit things, but I wanted to do this right! Maybe it wasn’t the most fun, but any piece of advice Tyler gave me, I followed.
Then, towards the end of the lesson Tyler let me hit the bag around.
I didn’t hold anything back either. I attempted to remember the proper form as I beat the bag senselessly. Sweat dripped from my forehead, and I could tell Tyler thought it was funny how exhausted I was. He does this stuff every day after all.
By the end of the night, tired could not begin to describe how I felt, but now that it’s done, I kind of want to do it again.
Next week’s topic: family history