In a club that is no frills. In a club that's been around far before the perky boxercise classes in a swank gym ever started up.
We're talking in a side door down a narrow, battle-scarred concrete staircase that opens into a worn-out, as-seen-in-movies large room, paint peeling off of concrete walls, a room that hasn't been changed since 1981. An old wooden bench near the stairs, muddy outdoor shoes nearby. Not a brand-name to be seen. A few posters on the walls of past fights, title gear in a corner by an old wooden desk, a bare scale out for those brave enough to need and want to weigh-in, near the ring that has weathered many a fight. 3 beaten-on heavy bags that are screwed into the ceiling hang down in one area, wooden slabs anchored into the walls hold well-worn speed bags in another. A bank of mirrors splash across another wall. The smell of well-worn boxing gloves, testosterone and determination hang in the air.
As in- I should take a picture; we're talking b!shes be serious here. This is the real deal.
And by b!shes I mean mostly guys.
And guys don't mess around. (not that girls do! Many don't. I should know. I'm a girl. I'm just painting a specific picture.)
Granted, out of the 3 women I've ever seen here before- 1 instructed two classes, and she kicked our @sses. And the other 2 were participants, and they were fit and had skillz.
Today's class was myself. And 9 guys.
Small groups, always. Some days there have been 6. This means there is a lot of individual attention. And a lot of work is spend on proper form. And combinations.
Every class leaves my hair and shirt drenched in sweat and my arms shaking.
The crazy thing about my boxing class? The 9 MINUTES of skipping rope in the beginning. 3 skip, 1 rest, 3 skip, 1 rest, 3 skip.
And when I started doing boxercize over a year ago I thought 1 minute of skipping was long and hard.
I even thought...this can't be. 9 is a lot. He's making this up. But the sections are on a timer and I watched the clock today. It's true.
And I can do it.
The 3 minutes of military-style pushups at the very end of class? I'm not there yet.
There is just something about this. It is not a relaxing yoga class. It is not a long run that builds you and breaks you with every kilometer you run, leaving you a new person by the end. It is not the comfort of my first bootcamp where 'you can adapt your moves based on your fitness level'....Have I ever told you about my bootcamp experience? It was awesome- I started with all the adaptations, and couldn't even do half of every 1 minute activity. I ended up many months later and many pounds lighter being able to keep up.
But this isn't any of that. This is old-school boxing. And here I'm just 'one of the guys'.