much love monday: boxing

YES, friends, if you know me in real life (meatspace?), you knew this was coming.  my friend rose is really into boxing, so on my first night with her in berlin, i tagged along to her boxclub.  i was immediately hooked.  the workout was hard (so hard!) but at the end i was left with a sense of power and satisfaction i’ve never achieved with running or yoga.   over the next couple days i started researching boxing clubs in vancouver.  a couple weeks after i got home from my trip, i signed up for a Serious Boxing Club, but a few factors swirled around and conspired to keep me from heading out until just a few weeks ago.  holy fuck, you guys.  i love boxing so much.  i know, i am such a beginner, it seems kind of silly to profess my love for something i have only spent ~15 hrs doing.  BUT, i don’t give a fuck, i am gonna tell you anyway.

one of the main reasons i’m really into boxing is that it normalises fighting.  it builds muscle memory, which is valuable, because if i am ever seriously* threatened by a man, my reflexes should be able to kick in and keep me safe.  not only does it teach me how to punch and block, but the cardio & body weight exercises add to overall fitness.   it’s an incredible workout that trains nearly every part of your body.  after my first session at this gym, nearly every muscle group in my body hurt, and that in itself is incredible because i rarely find workouts that are so intensely challenging.  i am fairly fit so it takes a lot for me to find my edges and push them.  on top of that, after only a few weeks of boxing, my arms, back and stomach are showing serious toning, and i love it. i’ve wanted muscular arms and shoulders for so long!

and, damn.  biking to the box club for a serious session from 8-10 am just feels so good. it sets me up to feel good all damn day.  it’s such a counterpoint to yoga (my other main exercise) but it’s so valuable.  it also works as another form of moving meditation, which is my favourite way to empty my brain.   more and more, i’m finding out how important fitness is in my overall mental health, and boxing is just one piece of that puzzle.

i’m hoping that within a year i’ll be good enough to spar; i don’t see myself training to be an actual fighter, but a few friendly rounds would be really interesting.

*by seriously, i mean more than the “normal” amount that women are threatened.  last week, just after 8pm, i was walking through a well-lit park that had a decent amount of people in it.  two men started talking to me, following me, telling me they wanted to see me naked, etc.  i had a battle plan working out in my head: “i’ll throw a left hook, and swing my camera from the right, because he probably won’t expect it”.  fortunately it didn’t come to that, but being a woman is fucking scary and i hope that boxing helps me protect myself better.

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