Tag Archives: it’s good to hit things

And continue to box …

I am in week 19 of my campaign back to physical fitness at Brooklyn’s Gleason’s Gym after a long pandemic induced hiatus — and wow do I need it.

Okay, yes, the COVID-19 pounds.

The stress of the on-going pandemic. 

A plethora of incredible change in my life like retirement and my daughter graduating college and moving into her first apartment.

But it’s also the stress of seeing my husband living with a degenerative brain disease. Called Frontotemporal Degeneration or FTD, it saps the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain in particular, affecting behavior, language, or movement, and as the disease progresses short-term memory. The horror of it is its insidious onset usually starts at an earlier age–and progresses relentlessly with no known treatments that stop or slow the disease.

Far from wanting a pity party, the infusion of whatever self-care I can muster, including the opportunity to get down to the gym to work out is the best present I can ever give myself.  

Beginning with my 15 minute or so walk to the gym, I begin to destress, thinking of all the things I want to work on for that day. From “keeping it neat” to quote trainer, Don Saxby, to working the counter shots to the body that I practice on the focus pads with my trainer Lennox Blackmoore

Lately, it’s been about the telephone–keeping my hands up like earmuffs to not only protect my head, but to better position myself for throwing what ever punches are called or when working the bag to practice neat and tight jabs, rights, hooks and upper cuts.

I’m also working on stamina ’cause at 67 and having not exercised for the better part of a year, whatever fitness I had went out as the calories packed on.  

But mostly, going to Gleason’s Gym connects me to the larger community that is boxing from the camaraderie of what I call the #AMBoxingCrew to knowing that just by being there I am supporting the efforts of others. 

Boxing has been a part of my life for 25 years. It is has given me strength, health, the sense of my own place in the world, and ultimately the courage to move forward no matter what the obstacles are. It’s also uncaged my sense of being and though I may try to give back through my support of women’s boxing, it always seems that I am on the receiving end of the brilliance that is the sport.

And so, I continue to box … for what I can only hope will be the next 25 years.

___

For further information on FTD, I recommend The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration:

http://www.theaftd.org/ 

 

 

 

Working it out on the bag

Working it out on the bag


What with Thanksgiving last week, Hanukkah celebrations this week and Christmas looming it’s the time of year when many of us can get hugely over-anxious and stressed out!  Sure some of us manage to get through it all with great joy in our hearts and nary a hurt feeling to consider, but many of us experience other emotions and have moments when we’d like nothing better than to chuck it all for a week in some other part of the world, preferably one without phones or email!

I’ve found that making the commitment to work out is a particularly helpful way to cope.  Whether it’s boxing, dancing, aikido, kickboxing, swimming, running or spinning for that matter — pursuing an active, physically engaging activity can provide a terrific way of getting rid of all the toxins that inevitably build during the countdown to the “holidays” and not just from all that overeating.

I like to think of it as working it out on the bag.  I take the plethora of “stuff” that inevitably gets kicked-up and give it a place to go.

Working it out on the bag means that you have a chance to chuck those things out of your body as a means of ridding yourself of the emotions that may otherwise be difficult to cope with.   And while I’ve found that the physical sensation of extending my body and hitting things gives me the chance to release a lot of “stuff,” any active physical experience of pounding something gives the sensation of pushing your body to its limit, such as the feel of the pavement when you’re running or a gym floor when you’re jumping rope.

The point is, these next few weeks are fraught with the pitfalls of a lot of heightened expectations including your own.  Perhaps the best present you can give yourself is the chance to work it all out on the bag long before you get to the point where you want to scream, cancel Christmas or take to your bed for days and days in the hopes that it’ll all end soon.

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