Last night I was thinking back to when I first started exploring boxing as a fitness solution. It has to be about five or six years back. With the help of my wife’s razor-sharp memory, we were able to piece together the start.
There are a few routes I can use to commute to work. My selection basically boils down to an express way route or one using a local road. This day, way back when, I selected the latter option. Though riddled with traffic lights, this road is generally a reliable option as [most of the time] the lights are in my favor. As unpredictable as traffic lights can be, so is traffic.
As I was approaching the next traffic light along my trek, cars were backing up and, eventually, the flow came to a complete stop. I found myself quite a distance from the intersection and static in front of a building of heavy bags.
The structure had a large sign reading LA Boxing across the top and the view through the windows was filled with rows of suspended heavy bags… maybe thirty or so. I assumed this store sold heavy bags, which I thought was an oddly niche and small-minded business model. Intrigued, I decided to “run my Googles” the moment I was in front of a computer and find out exactly what LA Boxing was.
To my surprise, though embarrassingly obvious in hindsight, this was the location of a boxing gym—right near my home! Mostly class-based, they offered boxing, kickboxing, boot camps, and other fitness programs that sounded WAY more interesting than going to a gym that offered only weights.
Although I would occasionally work out on my own, this would be the first time I become a member of a proper gym. Fortunately, my wife Meg was equally excited about the curriculum and joined with me. We took a drive over the following Saturday to do some reconnaissance and prepared ourselves for a trial class Sunday.
Our first class was a 10am (or thereabouts) Boxing class with an instructor named Laurette Holst. Meg and I eagerly grabbed two heavy bags in the front row of the class with a clear view of Laurette. We started with a warm-up and shortly after began the routines.
I started off strong and had no concern over my ability to succeed. I was confident and believed, though feeling a bit doughy, that I was still a relatively fit individual. Rather quickly, however, my newly discovered fitness deficiencies materialized in the form of “white snow” (think: poor TV reception) consuming my vision. And down I went. I didn’t faint or anything that severe, but I needed to sit down and sit quickly.
Meg quickly came to my side and Laurette grabbed me a bottle of Powerade. The sugars, electrolytes and whatever other magic sauce they infuse into that drink started to get me straight once again. I learned I needed to eat more pre-workout. But, more importantly, I also learned I needed to become more fit.
This moment was the start of my appreciation for (and enjoyment of) boxing for fitness. This was also the start of our relationship with Laurette. Fast-forward five years or so and here we are… training together for the Long Island Fight for Charity. I never thought then I would be where I am now, about to get into the ring.
Oh… LA Boxing was eventually absorbed by UFC and the locations are branded this way now. A few things have changed since the name swap but the spirit remains the same.