Posts Tagged ‘Boxing gyms

11
Jul
11

Getting “back”

Getting “back”

I worked out hard on Saturday — giving it my all so to speak through my sweet 16.  I even got Len laughing when he asked me if I’d eaten my Wheaties!  Mostly it felt great to sweat and to realize that my stamina was such that I could start to maintain speed — not to say that I was rabbiting through all 16 rounds, but the four with Len felt right except perhaps for the last part of the fourth round when I could feel myself flagging.

Back on the double-ended bag after coasting a round I did forge through with speed again — all of which is allowing me to officially proclaim to myself that my goal of gaining some conditioning is finally being met!

For a 50-something out of shape person, knowing that one can get pretty much “back” to conditioning at the six months mark of training is excellent. I can actually throw myself into a jog without dying and when it comes to gym time finally finding some speed is a truly remarkable feeling.  Len even had a little bit of a wince when I threw a left jab at his body followed by the right to the pad — and not that I’m necessarily evil or anything, but that little tiny push back made me feel like a million bucks.

On top of all of this, I finally had a diagnosis for the coughing!  It runs out its something called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux or LPR.  Often called the “silent” reflux, symptoms and signs include coughing, thick mucous at the back of the throat, “postnasal” drip, throat irritations/throat clearing and even sore throats that seem to resolved after a day or two.

The mechanical action is the acid from the stomach backs into the esophagus through the upper esophageal sphincter.  For people who suffer from heartburn, the acid hangs around in the esophagus, however, with LPR the acid actually backs up into the voice box and the back of the throat.  Hence the symptoms!

I went in for a scope of my nasal passages and throat and low and behold, what we found was an enlarged larynx that showed evidence of having had LPR for some time. In speaking with the doctor, he told me that patients do indeed experience breathing problems upon exertion — and that is one of the reasons patients seek medical attention.

As for treatment — the primary one is a change in diet with several huge no-no’s:

  • caffeine, cola beverages, citrus beverages and mints, alcoholic beverages, particularly at night, cheese, fried foods, eggs and chocolate.
  • no eating a minimum of three hours prior to bedtime — and no large meals at night.
  • a primary diet of green veggies and non-acid forming fruits (60%)
  • weight loss.

I’m also being put on something call a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) — a class of medications that essentially prevents the stomach from forming acids.

I still have a few more tests to undergo to rule out a few things, but figure the diagnosis is pretty solid — now it’s just up to me to give up coffee, tea and chocolate 😦 while noting that a mostly veggie diet will certain aid in my weightloss campaign.

For more information on LPR, here are a couple of sites.

23
Jan
11

At the gym

At the gym

When I hear the word gym, I always think of my old public school gym.  Built in the late 1950’s, it had painted cinderblock walls the most putrid green color one could possibly think of, enormous caged light fixtures and big windows that lined the top of the walls where they met the ceiling because the gym was located in the basement.

Considering just how big the gyms were, NYC public schools did not do much by way of sports when I went to school in the 1960’s.  In the winter months, we played newcomb and a variation of punch ball using a giant red rubber ball.  Or we’d just play catch with it.  We’d also play a variation of dodgeball where our entire class of 35+ kids would stand in a giant circle and throw the ball at each other *without* trying to knock each other down.   I can assure you that it didn’t work very well and someone inevitably got hit in the face.

Gyms also make me think of the Y, PAL, Boys and Girls clubs, and different Settlement Houses around the city where kids could go to play sports.  There was something very friendly about those places.  Everyone one wore gray or navy blue sweats and instead of running shoes, tennis shoes or basketball shoes, kids wore sneakers.

Later when the health club craze hit, the character of gyms seemed to change.  The large cavernous spaces became smaller and tighter and at the same time less about camaraderie and sports and more about individual achievement and beauty.  I know that I am over simplifying here, but the truth is, I always feel like an outsider walking into a health club.  The spaces always seem overly crowded with equipment and people not to mention music pounding so loud my ears hurt.  Perhaps too, my conception of sports comes into play — the idea being that it is hard for me push and pull machines or run to nowhere watching CNN or the Real Housewives of New Jersey without some other purpose that revolves around sports.

When I finally found my way into a boxing gym — I got some of that old feeling back of when I was a kid.  A space where people were engaged in an activity, but with a real sense that every aspect of the training is for some purpose — and importantly, that everyone is rooting for you no matter what your skill level.  Goodness knows that some boxing gyms are as funky as they come while others have borrowed a bit from the health club concept and have clean spaces and new equipment.  Still the feeling is welcoming and fun:  a place more about the work than anything else and that can be a pretty inspiring thing.

22
Dec
10

Three days until

Three days until

Okay, I admit it.  I’m an excited little kid when it comes to Christmas.  Given that it’s December 22, that means three whole days until — as well as that “eee-gads” feeling ’cause my Christmas shopping isn’t done.

If you’re in a similar boat, and if you haven’t yet gotten gifts for the boxer in your life (or that special something for yourself for that matter), you just may make it if you put in a super rush order with one of the boxing catalogs — though it’s a long shot. (Check out the Boxing Gear Page for a list of online websites and gift ideas.)

The alternative is to run over to a specialty store — if there is one near you (folks in the NYC can always go to G&S in downtown Manhattan) or you can  head over to a boxing gym for gear & t-shirts, and for NYC area dwellers there is always “Mo’s” for something like handwraps.

If that doesn’t work boxers can always use workout T’s, sweats, water bottles, hoodies, winter running apparel (hats, silk gloves, wicking socks, thick tights) and bags to lug all that boxing stuff in.  One- or two-pound hand weights are also great to shadow box with and boxers can always use a nice mat for sit-ups ’cause lets face it, the ones in a boxing gym can get pretty “funky.”  Those kinds of items are pretty readily available — and you can always head to a Yoga store for nice colors and an island of calm in an otherwise crowded mall.

A free lesson or two with a trainer or paying a yearly locker fee are also amazing gestures that would be very appreciated — and of course, you can always donate to a boxing charity in the name of a loved one (check out the Boxing Holiday Giving post for a few ideas).

Whatever you decide, enjoy your three days of shopping!

 

 

14
Dec
10

My locker

My locker

I’ve had my locker at Gleason’s Gym for several years.  I used to schlep my stuff to the gym on a daily basis and then hope that one of the loaner “day” lockers was free.   In those instances even if I found a locker, more times than not, I’d forget to bring a lock or forget something at home, say my shoes or gloves or handwraps.  The solution of course, was to make the commitment to get a locker.

At Gleason’s as at other gyms, locker space is pretty dear.  Once I’d signed up to get one, it took several months before I actually got the call to telling me that I’d been assigned one.  Those months were a time of anticipation and frankly, outright jealousy as I’d ogle the lockers of my gym mates overflowing with gear, towels and deodorant.   When I finally did get the call, I was elated — and well, anxious.

What would I put in my locker?  Would it be big enough?  Should I purchase an extra shelf as I’d seen in other lockers?  Would I have enough places to hang things?  Oh, and the lock?  What type?  Would I remember the combination?

Coming into the gym my first day after getting “the call” I felt triumphant.  I had a locker with my last name prominently pasted to the outside of the locker door.  Opening it up, I felt a rush of excitement, never mind that it was exactly like the loaner lockers I’d been using all along, it was my locker, for my stuff; a little part of the world with my name on it that stored my special things.

After several visits to the gym, my locker began to take on the character of all the others I’d seen — overflowing with gear, and hard to close on cold days what with my winter boots and huge down coat.  Still it was mine, and if missed going to the gym for long stretches of time, my gear remained safely tucked in and at the ready for me.

This weekend I cleaned out my locker in anticipation of the area being bombed to kill goodness knows what kind of insects.  One of the last to get to the gym on Saturday afternoon, I felt wistful seeing the locker room so empty.  The treat was being reunited with stuff I’d long since tucked away inside bags or other crevices.  Who knew that I had my own speed bag??  This after just having put one on my Christmas list!  I was also reunited with my favorite pair of socks which I’d assumed had long since gone to sock heaven, not to mention mouth pieces, head gear, my daughter’s gear from when she was 8 years old and used to train a lot, and even my yoga mat.

Hauling my big laundry bag of stuff home, I of course resolved to keep my locker neater as I worked out where to purchase a large mesh bag to store gear so I’d actually *know* what was in there.  Mostly though, I was able to think through individual moments at the gym and came up the big hill on Washington Street with a smile.




July 2020
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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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