Punching My Way Back to the Boxing Gym
I’m starting to feel my age. At 44 last month, I’m no spring chicken, but I refuse to succumb to the inexorable march of time. There are still so many things I want to do with my life. So, like most people during the New Year, I enrolled in a gym, a boxing gym. Getting old can go suck itself.
It has been an on-and-off thing between me and the boxing ring. My first try was five years ago, at the AFP gym, which lasted all of six sessions. My next foray was in 2015, with a membership at In This Corner. It was in In This Corner where I first saw results, in weight loss, stamina and skill. My trainer was the kind of guy who mocked you mercilessly into pushing yourself, screaming “Survive!” each time I would tire out before the end of a round. That was cut short, however, when we moved house six months ago and a trip to that gym would mean a two-hour trip one way.
At the start of 2016, I weighed in at 218 lbs., far too heavy to be healthy, especially since I am at risk for diabetes. I found a gym near my home, close enough for me to jog to, and quickly signed up. One month and five sessions in, I’m now down to 214 lbs., and my shirt size has gone down a notch. That’s due to boxing, some cycling, some running (I HATE running!) and better portion management.
Motivation plays a big part in sustaining the effort. I try to motivate myself with different things. The visible results are one. My wife’s approval is another. The thought that, maybe, if I need to get into a scrap, I can hold my own, is a third, though I hope that never happens. That Netflix’s Daredevil is awesome is in there, too.
My friend Jon Gan who runs Empire Boxing McKinley gives some reasons why he thinks boxing is a good thing for folks like me. It’s a complete body workout. It improves your stamina. It gives you muscle memory that might prove useful in defense situations. He also thinks it gives you a bit of cool cred, confidence, and better looks. Just don’t get punched in the face too often.
I’m hoping to get my weight down to 200 lbs by the end of summer and, beyond that, my stretch goal is to hit 180 by next year. That’s about three pounds a month. Should be achievable, so long as I stay the course.
Meanwhile, I’d like to encourage you to try boxing out. It’s fun, despite the pain. You won’t come off as a masochist, I promise. If you’re stressed at work, this is a great way to blow steam off without endangering your co-workers. You get stronger, leaner, fitter, more confident. Feeling younger. Don’t think of it as exercise. Think of it as fighting Father Time.