This morning when I got to the gym, there were two women already well into their own bag routines in the boxing area. This was kind of exciting to me because I almost never see other women there, and when I do they’re usually being put through paces by a trainer. To see other women managing their own boxing routines makes me a little more comfortable with mine. What’s more, we were the only people using the boxing area.
One of the women – well, she was enjoying hitting stuff, I guess. She threw all her punches from the middle of her chest, squared up against the bag, with no sense of a difference between a jab and a cross, just a “hey, I’ll hit this with my right, and then my left, and then a bunch of times really fast, and ooh, what’s that other thing over there? Maybe I’ll go hit that for awhile.” After four or five rounds she took off her gloves and went over to do crunches on the bench of an unused weight machine. And there’s nothing wrong with any of that. I can’t judge; I’m sure I looked like that to someone back in the day (and I probably still look like that to someone now – perhaps that other lady who was there this morning). If putting on the gloves makes you feel like more of a badass, more power to you. Everyone has different fitness goals, right? (Although my fitness goal happens to involve hitting that heavy bag you’re ineffectually abusing, lady, so let someone else have a turn sometime this morning, okay?)
The other one was clearly experienced – she had the speed, the stance, and the power of someone who does this all the time. I really kind of wanted to ask if she wanted to spar sometime (although I’m fairly certain she’d kick my ass despite having at least ten years on me). But I didn’t say anything because that’s really not how I roll.
There’s a bit of an unspoken camaraderie at the gym, especially at the branch where all the boxing stuff is. A few of the other regulars and I are on smile-and-nod basis, but rarely do we converse. I think I’ve been hit on a couple of times (I’m notoriously terrible at being able to tell when this is going on), and on one memorable occasion a trainer at another branch saw my wrapped hands and tried to mansplain boxing to me, but generally everyone in the gym keeps to themselves. Like I’ve said before, nobody really cares about what you’re doing at the gym because they’re all too busy caring about what they’re doing.
Still, it’s nice to have a few other people around and doing something similar to what you’re doing. Especially when they share a gender with you. It lets you know you’re not completely nuts.