Being a fairly physically active person, and one who spends a lot of time in the gym doing weights, I was disturbed recently by my lack of motivation exercise-wise and realised I had ‘gym fatigue’.
I needed a change of pace – but I didn’t fancy classes or swimming, and I’ve never been much of a runner. I really have to have a goal, a reason to exercise in order for me to get any enjoyment out of it, and I’d been going religiously to the gym for 3 years or so to lose weight. That target achieved more or less, I needed a new one.
I’d always wanted to try boxercise, if not real boxing, and decided to try out the KO Circuit class in a boxing gym near me. I’d known about this place for years, it has a fantastic reputation for bringing along young kids and keeping them out of trouble – the owner of the gym has local hero status. It has also trained all, and I mean all, the boxing greats at one time or another in their careers. For years I’d never quite had the courage to go and try it out, and frankly I had other things to do, like getting drunk and having a good time. And to be honest, I was slightly terrified at the prospect of having my nose plastered all over my face. But at the age of 44, I decided the time had come to stop being a sissy and give boxing a go.
The class is two hours long, consisting of 3 minutes on and 1 minute off (rest) – skipping, punch bags (murderous), shadow boxing, sparring, brutal abdominal work, weights. I sweat like never before – there’s no fancy air-con here, or paper towels to mop up with. It’s a proper, sweaty, man’s boxing gym with a ring smack in the middle – but the people are absolutely wonderful, the trainers have hearts of gold and they really want to see you do well. If they think you’ve got potential and you work hard and want to learn, you get fabulous coaching – in fact you get that anyway. And all for a fraction of the cost of a normal gym. Boxing is one of the most effective types of exercise I’ve ever done, in the shortest amount of time, even with me being over the dreaded 40 mark. And it’s given me exactly the reboot I needed fitness-wise.
The sense of community is fantastic, and it explodes any stereotypical myths one may have about people who box. I’ve come across the most diverse, interesting bunch of people – there are all sorts here.
If you want to try something very different while giving yourself a killer workout which is still enjoyable AND meeting fab new people, try boxing. It’s absolutely knock out.