It was long past time for me to join a real live, grown up boxing gym, so this past weekend, my trainer and I took a field trip and that’s exactly what I did. Between the boxing gym, the big national-chain gym where my trainer works, and the gym in my apartment complex, I now belong to three gyms, which I’ll grant is a little excessive.
I immediately liked the new gym. It’s located in a big, shabby building on an anonymous block, and it’s all one big, hot, stuffy room full of well-used equipment. Once you get in the door, absolutely everything takes a back seat to boxing. Everyone’s there for the same reason, and everybody’s working hard. I simultaneously felt more conspicuous and less conspicuous sparring there. I was more conspicuous because I knew everybody in there could tell exactly what I was doing right and wrong, and less conspicuous because unlike at the big national-chain gym (where there are often onlookers whenever sparring happens), the sight of people in headgear throwing punches at each other in a boxing gym is pretty much the opposite of interesting.
We’re still working on finding some new sparring partners, but I have to say, my trainer’s really going above and beyond. In the interim, I have some of the usual suspects to throw punches at me while I work on slips. This morning I took my focus mitts and my boyfriend to the gym and held pads while I called out combos for him, which I think will ultimately help my reflexes. I’d like to put on headgear and dodge his jabs, but I can’t decide whether the benefits of the extra defensive work would outweigh any potential negative effects it would have on our relationship.