Alright all you New Year’s resolutioners, cancel your Bowflex order on Amazon and listen closely, because I’m only going to say this … to be realistic probably more than once, but still. Listen.
You should join boxing.
And I’m not just saying this because I want more people in class to hide how heavily I’m breathing either, which if you’re wondering, sounds a little bit like Darth Vadar if he smoked a pack of cigarettes before going on a 10k run.
“Koosshhh, keesshh, kooossshhh, keesshh,” I’m not kidding.
Sometimes if the coaches get us working extremely hard, I will tilt my head up to the ceiling, breathe in through my nose, and let out a deep, ugly wail like I’m Dwayne Johnson fighting off Jaws in a movie scene that doesn’t, but probably should, exist.
Dramatic? Maybe. Necessary? Completely.
If I still haven’t scared you out of joining boxing in this, or any of my previous articles, keep listening. And remember that if I can make it through these classes for the past five weeks, so can you, and my coach, Ellen Connor, agrees.
“Anyone can box, regardless of their gender, weight, age, size, fitness level or abilities. It’s for absolutely everyone,” said Connor. “So don’t be intimidated, it’s not about beating each other down, it’s about building each other up.”
Connor said when she first started boxing, it was mostly with men and it was all about being tough and proving yourself, so she wanted to change that.
“I wanted to make boxing accessible to everyone, regardless of their skills or their background, anybody can do this,” said Connor. “I’ve learned that it’s about so much more than being tough.”
Connor starts every class off with a short warm up to get our blood flowing. This usually consists of doing intervals of skipping rope, with exercises such as push-ups, lunges, squats, or shadow boxing in between for about five minutes.
After this, we usually do some punching bag work, which includes intervals of various punches, with exercises in between. If your heart wasn’t already pumping from the warm up, it will be now.
In the later stages of class, we will work on things like punching someone’s hands while they hold pads, footwork, how to take a punch, how to dodge a punch, how to move around the ring, and sometimes sparring.
We will also do different work out circuits on certain days. This can include anything from basic ab, arm and leg exercises such sit ups, leg lifts, squats, lunges, and push ups, to practicing punching with one of the coaches, or dodging a tennis ball to work on getting out of the way of punches. It changes each day depending on the class.
If you’re lucky, you could come to a class where we do a work out called The Circle of Death, I’m going to leave the details of that out because I think I’ve petrified you enough for one article.
Relax though, because if there’s anyone who could die from The Circle of Death, it would be me. And I haven’t, yet. So let that give you a glimmer of hope.
As emotionally scarring as I make it sound, boxing has brought nothing but positivity in to my life, and has made me both mentally and physically stronger.
Every class is tailored to who is there, so even if you have never set foot in a gym before, you will not be left in the dust.
Five weeks ago, I thought “no way. I could never do that, boxing is not for me”, but look at me now. With some baby muscles peaking through my overcooked-spaghetti arms and a lot more confidence, I can only agree with Ellen when I say boxing truly is for absolutely everyone.
So come over to the dark side, a.k.a the Sooke Boxing Club, and join us. “kooshhh, kkeesshhh.”
To get involved, contact Ellen Connor at 250-642-7111.
Dawn (Killer) Gibson writes every other week on her exploits at the Sooke Boxing Club, as part of the All-Female Boxing Challenge.