Friday, December 14, 2012

I Want You To Hit Me As Hard As You Can

I've mentioned before that my favorite movie is Fight Club, mostly because the theme of struggling with how to change your life was something that really resonated with me. While I am not currently building an army of space monkeys to bring down the world's financial institutions, I did take up boxing- which really isn't the same as bare knuckle basement fighting, but whatever. Now boxing is about the last sport I expected to take up, it had never occurred to me as something I might be interested in. My past athletic endeavors have mostly revolved around running- and essentially the more running involved in the sport, the better I was at it. Boxing didn't come up as a sport with much running, and the idea of getting pounded on by some dude didn't really appeal to me.

So the other day a friend of mine that supplies my bacon at the restaurant mentions that he's starting back up in a boxing class, that is three days a week at a gym that is roughly a five minute walk from my restaurant- and with all the burgers now in my diet thanks to my consistent consumption of food at my restaurant- doing something athletic seems like a good idea.

"A guy came to fight club for the first time, his ass was a wad of cookie dough. After a few weeks, he was carved out of wood."

Cookie dough is a good word. I had this misconception that because I went for a run or a trek once in a while I was in good shape. After my first work out I was sore in places I didn't even know I had muscles. That endurance that I thought I possessed barely got me through the aerobic part of the workout- I was sucking wind and hitting walls. For some reason there is something within me that just absolutely hates not overcoming physical challenges, and when the instructor is calling out numbers for push-ups I am some damn disappointed with myself if I can't keep up. And keep up I couldn't- and even after three weeks still really can't. While I'm certainly not "carved out of wood", it's amazing how fast your body does adapt to these kind of intense workouts, and already I'm beginning to become at least somewhat capable.

"How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight? I don't wanna die without any scars. So come on; hit me before I lose my nerve."

It's a little sad that I'm 35 and don't have any idea how to throw a punch. Something new learned every day I guess. While I am building a bit more endurance, the one thing that I came to realize is that boxing requires a hell of a lot of coordination- something I've never been gifted with an abundance of. While raw athletic ability has always come to me at some level, precise coordinated movement is something that I sometimes lack. When you throw a punch- something I've never actually practiced, you have to move your whole body to make it effective, with leg, hip and arm all pivoting and moving to deliver the most force. This is tough for a guy who seems to regularly mix up left and right on the fly. And those gloves aren't heavy but when you keep em up by your head while bouncing around and swinging your arms around for a while they start to feel like lead.

Narrator: Whoa, wait, this is crazy. You want me to hit you?
Tyler: That's right.
Narrator: What, like in the face?
Tyler: [laughing] Surprise me.
Narrator: This is so fucking stupid

So the other day I show up and there's no class until like 6:30 (I normally go at 4). This is too late for me, and the girl at the front desk lets me know I can go upstairs and workout on my own. I kind of chuckle at the silliness of this suggestion, but on second thought I go ahead and do what parts of the routine I can remember and spend some time with the punching bags. At one point during a short cool down between punching sessions I realize I haven't actually been hit with one of these gloves yet. Without even considering how stupid what I was about to do was, I clocked myself in the side of the face.

"For some reason I was reminded of my first fight with Tyler."

Don't be fooled with the padding- it still hurts a bit.

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