Wednesday night is when I go boxing.
I only started a few weeks ago.
Depending on who turns up the class is usually eight men.
Not being the confrontational type I’d thought I’d give it ago.
At first, it was to learn how to throw a punch or two.
There’s also a circuit session – If I don’t succeed in becoming the next Rocky perhaps I can get my corpulent physique into shape.
My hands wrapped.
We start with some basic combos to get us warmed up.
We pair up and do three for three minute rounds.
Someone holds the pads as the other person punches.
Once we’ve had our turn punching and holding the pads, we have a short break.
Its time for sparring.
I grab a quick drink and wait nervously until its my turn.
Me and the rest observe as the first two go head to head.
“Time!” the coach says.
“You two next” he adds, as he points to me and another.
It’s our turn.
We touch gloves.
A quick one two I cut through his guard and catch his left eye.
With an uppercut and then with a left hook I catch him again.
I’m getting good at this.
I’m moving around like a pro, or so I think.
This time I throw a left jab.
He ducks, moves under my left arm only to hit me in the stomach with a left and then follow up with a right punch to my side.
I try to throw a left hook he dodges it.
I throw a jab he dodges it that too.
With my amateur style, my guard is low he takes advantage – I feel his glove firmly squish my nose.
I thought this was a light spar.
Maybe my mother was right when she said all those years ago:
“You don’t wanna go boxing, come and help me finish bake this cake”
Trying to land a punch.
I swing like an angry ape.
I can tell he’s been boxing for years, probably since he was in his mothers baby box.
I get hit a few more times.
This isn’t fight club – I don’t feel any higher consciousness from the pain and exhaustion.
Trying to catch my breath I whimsically carry on.
“TIME!” The coach shouts.
Well done my opponent says.
I don’t know if he’s being facetious, sarcastic or sincere.
I don’t care.
I’m still breathing through my arse flaps.