In my drive to do new things this year, I did another one today. Boxing class.
This Easter all I have officially planned is meeting my friend Felicity (or Flick as I call her) and her kids at a playground tomorrow for a go on the seesaw and a coffee as well as going round to Blarney and Barney's on Monday - that's all that's planned anyway.
Today, however, I got to do something new. Something that I used to love but haven't had an inroad to for a while. Something guaranteed to put a smile of my face. Something I know that I haven't done for years but used to love.
The girls on the 12WBT programme had been telling me about this boxing place for weeks. "Ah, you'll love Tommy!", "It's just up your alley, Pand, get in there." Those sorts of comments. However, normally being held on a Saturday morning, often when I have meditation - and out near the 1000 Steps in Ferntree Gully - there was little chance of me going.
However, today, being Good Friday, and not being religious, I thought a charity boxing event would be a good thing to do. Thankfully, this boxing place was having a 90 minute boxing circuit for charity session. $10 all of which was going to the Good Friday Appeal for the Royal Children's Hospital. Can't say no to that!
Earlier in the week, I mentioned this to Flick. A mother of two, she gets little time to herself - but I asked her if she'd like to come along. She agreed, saying she'd always wanted to try boxing and her husband would be home to look after the kids. Okay, I said, pick her up from her place at nine, be there for 9.30. All good.
I didn't tell Flick that after doing my first boxing class some 15 years ago, I was sore for three days and slept close on eleven hours after that class. It was my biggest fitness wake up call ever.
The not so stupid thing was that that class spurned me on to go boxing three times a week, get my fitness on track and start taking things further. I love boxing. It's fast, its furious, it's fun - and it gets you fitter quicker than almost any other exercise. In London, after three years of it, I was training with one of Lennox Lewis's old trainers in Camden. It was the fittest I've ever been (though I'm getting close to that now)
We rocked up with about 200 others for this charity bash. The boxing studio, not much more than a tin shed that smelled of linament, sweat and aging leather was reminiscent of the old "blood on the mat, blokes only" boxing gym I trained at in London. They all smell the same - they all look the same. It's wonderful! Once ushered into the shed, we got straight into it - after signing a disclaimer and gloving up.
It was utterly brilliant! 90 minutes of constant pounding. Jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts - push ups, sit ups, squats. SO COOL!
Working with Flick, who's never boxed in her life, was actually a good thing. It kept me from going completely feral. I had to pull my punches a little. I also got to help her by giving her some tips on technique and calm a few of the instructors moves for her (i.e. squats instead of burpees - I don't do burpees - why should she?)
Flick love it - I loved it. What a stunning morning! After saying goodbye to the 12wbt crew and having a decent stretch back at the car, we went home - pretty tired, a little sore and feeling very good about ourselves.
I have a photo of myself and Nicole from the 12wbt from today. This is the after shot - and I reckon we look FANTASTIC! (Thanks for the photo, Nicole - your son is a great photographer.)
Oh, I have a thing when boxing - I have to wear my most confronting t-shirts. This one is a gym favourite. It reads "The beatings will continue until morale improves." I'm also aware that I'm wearing a knee brace, strapping around my left calf (small strain, nearly resolved) and my rings are placed in my bra where they can't get caught in gloves. The joys of fitness.
I so hope to do this again - and soon!
Getting home, I turned around, went over to Glen Waverley and Merijn's to feed their cat and have a long, hot, lectric soda bath. Lectric soda bath? Poor man's radox. Go to the laundry aisle of the supermarket, it's about two dollars a bag. Half a cup of it mixed with a few drops of lavender oil and sprinkle into a hot bath to get rid of all your aches and pains. It really works.
I'm sitting here now feeling great. I'm sure my lats and arms are going to sting tomorrow. It's a great feeling.
I just wander if Flick will still be talking to me tomorrow. If my first response to boxing is anything to go by.