23.1°C was the max temperature recorded by the Met today in Glasgow. That’s 73.6°F. Pretty warm for Scotland! It was hard going in the gym today. The heat that seemed to hang in the air… my arms weren’t tired from punching but my chest felt really heavy like I was fighting for more oxygen.
My trainer played a dirty trick on me today too.
Gary: Pick a number from one to nine.
Me: Errr, okay… seven.
Gary: Okay that’s seven of the heavy bags. So you’re going to do a two minutes on each bag followed by 30 seconds of fast punching and then I’ll give you an exercise of ten reps, (push-ups, jumping squats or crunches) and then onto the next bag.
I was wasted just after three of those bags. Imagine how I felt when I looked at the other side of the room at the other four bags waiting for me. I had very-little to nothing-left when I reached the last bag.
I enjoyed some of the pad work too. There’s something really satisfying about popping some light shots off a pad that someone’s holding. I got some slip training in as well – rolling my shoulders so that blows glance off me. I’d love to do more of that so I can become quicker at it and become one of those really annoying slick fighters with good head movement. Hard to hit, technically good so I could box my way out of trouble rather than be a brawler. That was my dream but I don’t think you can pick the type of boxer you become anymore than you can pick whether you’re a man or a woman. You are what you are and eventually your true nature reveals itself.
I had this moment near the end where I looked at Gary and said… “I’ll do whatever you want me to. I’m yours for this hour. Just call it chief and I’ll do my best.”
Maybe it sounds hokey but I like moments like that. That’s a warrior’s promise. Yes I’m paying for Gary’s time but if you give me your time, I’ll forsake whatever physical disadvantages I have and be the best boxer I can be. A person’s body, your physical beauty – whether you believe that’s God-given or an act of nature – it has a finite shelf life and because of that, your journey and the destination, you have to think about it a little. What do I want from this? – That kind of thing.
I have to admit though… I miss the adrenaline rush and the buzz of being inside the ring. It’s weird. Nothing seems to compare to it. I have practiced Kendo which is a Japanese form of fencing but nothing compares to that feeling I had being inside a ring. You feel so alive, so wired up.
I miss it and I feel a bit like a junkie wondering when my next fix is going to be. Gary’s taking some vacation time next week. He’s back to Australia for two weeks so I’m fitting two one-to-one sessions this week before he goes so I don’t lose training time with him.
I think what I may do while he is away is drive down to SK Boxing Gym down in Govan – they have a couple of nights where they have an hour’s session dedicated to sparring…
… I’m hoping I can find a dance partner.
One thing though… I’m a student of Lusby’s Boxing Gym, Gary’s my trainer and although we’re not a large gym I’m very proud of those roots. Whatever gym I choose to practice at – whoever I’m sparring against, I never forget that.
Gary on the right, me on the left at Lusby’s Boxing Gym.