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The “there’s no way” challenge.

This is the post excerpt.

Starting in 2013, I’ve created yearly fitness goals that have always been one step past crazy.  My personality is stubborn, so the only thing that motivates me is when I tell someone I’m going to do something and they say “There’s no way.”

In 2013, I wanted to become a Zumba instructor.

Complete!

In 2014, I wanted to run a half marathon.

Complete!

In 2015, I took a mini break aka my challenge was to survive our wedding 🙂

Also, complete! *phew*

It’s already late July and it occurred to me that I hadn’t set my 2016 goal!  After some brainstorming, I had an array of options on the table like full marathon, triathlon, mountain biking, snowboarding, you name it.  Although a great list, nothing really lit the fire in my fitness belly.  And then it hit me.. I’ve always been interested in the idea of boxing but how could I take that idea and take it one step further?  Ah yes, what if an average person like myself was able to condense a training schedule and fight in a match in 12-16 months?

And here we are.

My journey starts August 2nd.

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Does running late count as exercise?

Well this is a shameful post, which is why I think I just kept delaying.

Make no mistake… I love sharing my story and it’s a mere coincidence that the last month has been easily the hardest month since starting… but I honestly couldn’t keep up with work, boxing, life and blogging so something had to give.  Sorry WordPress.

Where do I start?

How about with this…

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I had told myself that I would aggressively work my butt off to get to Blue and then would take a breather once I’m at blue to just get much better at technique and overall stamina.  The test though, yikes, that was fun.  The endurance part, not going to lie… killed it.  I was on point with my eating habits, downed a few Shock Blocks, my rounds on the heavy bag were just insanely strong.  The fun part to come was the technical.

Now I’d never tested with Coach Dan before but we did a private class beforehand so I could make sure I understood what was on the test, understand Dan’s style, etc. I jump in the ring to do the technical part of the test and half way through I completely blank.  So unlike me, I had been practicing for weeks, months even.  What threw me was after the defense portion of the test, Dan let me know I had used my 2 of my demerits (out of 3) and I still had 2 more modules of the test to go.  Sheer panic.  I think he could tell because I had gone from beet face to ghost 🙂  I got my head on straight, of course channeled my inner Manny, and made it through the technical.  One more portion of endurance left.  Lucky for me, Jack showed up.

Now Jack… this young steed:

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He’s likely the reason that I was able to keep my spirits up for the last 20 minutes of the test which included arm calisthenics, 6 rounds of abs, and plank.  Now let me rephrase, he legit did the 2 minute final plank with me to keep me going.  Who does that?  Friends you make at a boxing club do.  2 minute plank sound easy to you?  Try it after 43 minutes of testing.

End result?

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Happily a member of blue.

So that puts me at February 5th.  And if you remember I said I’ve had the hardest month in boxing yet… but it all sounds like sunshine and rainbows!  White, passed. Yellow, passed.  Green, passed.  Blue, passed.  How tough could my journey be?

You see the problem with my approach at boxing, and at life in general, is that when I achieve a status, I literally feel myself go to the bottom of the next step.  No matter how much I’ve learned, no matter how far I come, when I get into a new world (in this case blue), I literally become blue….kinda like…

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I only had about 10 days of classes before I took a vacation and then business trips which meant about 10 days of exercise before 3 weeks of travel.. which then meant 10 days of stamina before 6 weeks of depressing inability to even walk up a flight of stairs without gassing myself.

Do you know how hard it is to find meaning in 10 days when you start back at zero and then have to lose everything physically you’ve been working toward for 4 months?

My two boxing buds are the only reason I kept up in those 10 days… Kiersten making sure I smiled daily, and Jack making sure that we held each other accountable to going to the club. Now one extra thing to note is that when we go to the club, we’re not there for the 1 hour class.  An hour before, sometimes more, and 30-60 mins after as well.  We were often spending 2.5 hours a day, 5x a week.  It’s impossible to keep that up alone… thus why the boxing buddy system has been implemented 🙂

The week leading up to my vacation was full of excitement… Jack and I basically getting me ready for sparring which to me seemed like the impossible because it’s the closest thing to fighting I was going to get before actually having a fight.

The first thing needed before jumping into the sparring ring was new gear… so just call me the sexy viking:

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But hey, the new sparring gloves weren’t bad…..

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And yes mom… that’s a mouthguard to protect these pretty teeth.

Now the sparring.  My first time.  I pulled the trigger after Steve and I got back from Mexico.  And let me say taking a vacation has never felt so well earned.  Make no mistake it was tough to come back to reality but I had such a neat task in front of me.

The class I took the night I sparred was actually with the team.  They combined the classes that night, I think one of the coaches was out sick.  I remember looking at Jack, Jack looked at me as if… this class if going to be tougher than normal.  It was the hardest class, especially cardio-wise that I’ve taken to date. And after this, I was going to spar for the first time?  Ya, OK. I finished the class, nervously put on my sparring gear, literally shaking and forgetting how to do up a simple buckle on my head gear.

There were 3 women that would be with me, we would all interchange partners in different rounds.

Now… rules are a bit different… given that I probably looked like a scared deer stepping in… the girls on the team throw slowly, and straight punches only.  Me, just don’t shit my pants.  Sounds about even, right?

Now I slightly joke… but that’s the lay of the land for my first time.  And you know what?  After I was able to relax, I didn’t do too bad… I have a copy of the video but it’s super bad quality 😦  Sorry…  Check out this Video

I can tell I was overly tense because I was sore for the first time in months… aka when I was hit, my muscles were so tense they didn’t absorb it like normal so I was sore.  No biggie.  The more I practice, the more I’ll relax. I think doing another 30 minutes of class after sparring didn’t help 😉  We’ll call that adrenaline.

Again you’re asking… everything is coming up Shan, so what’s so tough?

After that session, keep in mind I had only at this point had 7 Blue classes, I sat and asked myself… what am I doing?

What is the point of pouring my time into this goal?

Do people at the club think I’m a joke for taking on this goal in a quick manner?  Like I’m not respecting the sport?

What is the point of wasting the club’s time?  The coaches’ time?  Think of all the other people that go to the club that could actually be long-term contributors to the club’s name and brand.

What is the point of wasting Kiersten’s time?  Of Jack’s? Of Steve’s?

How selfish could I be?

For the first time since I started, I sat on my couch and thought about quitting.  Even as I type this I actually have tears trying to break their way through and I still can’t tell if it’s because I went through a tough time or because I’m ashamed that I almost quit something for once in my life.

Now after all of my work and personal trips, I’m struggling to find the strength to get my endurance back up to a level that can make me breath through a single 2 minute round.  Being able to physically take on a fight seems years away.

This is what riddles me. 

I’m not sure I’m through this rough patch… especially after I did my second round of sparring this week which to be honest was simply awful.

I guess this is what they meant by boxing being a mental sport.  Kiersten sent me this article the other week and it couldn’t have meant more… take a read if you have a chance:  Boxing Article

For the next 2 weeks… I will literally just take it one day at a time. As cheesy as that sounds.

And don’t worry, I’ll be better about posting going forward… that way it’s not a daunting long post of my sadness 🙂

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♪ ♫ Everyday I’m Shoveling ♪ ♫

 

Hopefully you caught that reference… if not… it’s a song… here’s a screenshot from the music video:

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Yup, that’s a good creepy start to the blog!  🙂

Well what an awesome 2 weeks I’ve had at the gym and I thought what better of a send off to Vegas tomorrow than a kickass post today… especially because the gym’s closed for a snow day!  I had contemplated walking uphill both ways to get there but was pretty relieved to see the notice!

Things I’ve learned the past 2 weeks:

  1. Shovel hook – A hook to the body, 45 degree angle
  2. Upper cut – J shaped motion up the chin
  3. Fade – A defensive footwork move (I mainly feel like Michael Jackson when we practice)

Even more amazing thing that happened the past 2 weeks:

Steve came to watch me at class!!! 

Ok, one downside to him coming… it was my second class in Green which was at the end of the monthly lesson plan so he got to watch me be confused for an hour.  But I’ll take it!!!  He got to the gym just in time for the technical part of class (no need for him to watch the cardio at the beginning) and the awesome girl at the front desk showed him where the other “parents” sit to watch.  Hehehehe.  I always thought it was cute to see the parents in the watching area, now my hubby’s up in the pen!

He took some awesome pics though:

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Me paired with a girl partner (ahh I can’t remember her name!), Jin, and Coach Steve.

Steve was also able to get some videos taken!!  Again, reminder, everything in the video is me struggling to learn the last lesson plan for something brand new so I don’t look the best 😦

And then some heavy bag work, again trying to figure out the load and angle of the shovel hook:

Side note I have no idea how I was able to embed these videos but I just got pretty excited!!!

So the not so fun part of my schedule, combined with learning the shovel hook, is of course the fact that my body is not happy 😦  This is through pads.  But this is nothing compared to the amazing bruise on one of the coach’s sides!!  Shout out do Dan for his amazing bruise.

Day 1, Day 3, Day 5

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Needless to say Steve has had fun chasing me around the house tickling me… or forgetting that I’m in terrible pain and reaching over for snuggles.  😦  For once, I don’t like snuggles.  It’s ok, the trip to Vegas will give me some time to let the ribs heal.

On that note… a break to Vegas means a break to my super healthy eating and no booze!!  YAY!!!  Tomorrow marks my 50th day of no crap food, no dairy, no chocolate, and no booze.  I feel remarkable, of course 🙂  The only thing that’s not going to feel remarkable is the day after I have my first drink in Vegas!!

So a few decisions have been made from now until my next test, hopefully mid Feb:

  • I’ll have some liquor starting Vegas to New Years but go back off until test day
  • I’ll stick to zero cheese except feta (it keeps salads doable daily)
  • I’ll stick to no crap and no fried food
  • I’ll stick with my 5 days of boxing and 1-2 days of yoga

This morning.. I happily stepped onto the scale to find I’m down 10 pounds.

Woooo go me!!!

8 more pounds to go which I’m hoping to do by test day, thus why I’ll keep the strict rules in place after new years. Wish me luck 🙂

Coming up the next couple of weeks… practice, practice, practice on the shovel hook, upper cut, and fade.  I’m especially going to focus on footwork and using my legs.  I hate hearing over and over that I’m all arms!!!  I’ll take the feedback and focus on it.

Now c’mon Vegas… I’ve earned it 🙂

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The Four Corner Strategy

When I joined Griffins, a coach told me that the mental game is way more exhausting than the physical and I shrugged that off, mainly because I didn’t understand what it meant.  While I’m by no means training to the same level as a lot of the boxers at the gym, I’m starting to feel the weight of training, on top of my everyday life.

It’s funny how the people around me compare the 2 sides of my life, almost put them up against each other to try and see which I’d prefer or which is worst.

The other day at work, a group of my coworkers asked me “How do you find the time and energy to go to boxing at the end of your day?”,  I smiled and said “Lately, I have more trouble finding the energy to go to work!”.  I’m not sure my boss would like to hear that 😉 I also had a big presentation at work this past week and I was incredibly anxious, which is pretty rare for me 🙂  Steve said, “What’s worst, giving this presentation or getting punched in the face?”.

This past month I’ve found to be so taxing on my mental game, which in turn impacted my health (2 rounds of the flu, I currently sound like Barry White as I type this). It’s hard you know, when times at work are challenging and you leave to go to boxing and you’re not excelling at that either, where else do you go to refuel?  To find the energy to pour back into your efforts?

All I can say is thank god for Steve and other supporters who make sure I go to class, or complete that project for work.

I guess it’s times like this when you really have to celebrate the wins.  Like passing my boxing test and joining the green crowd 🙂

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Now, despite me looking exhausted in that photo, I was completely at the top of my game.  I only told a handful of people I was taking the test Monday because my body and my mind have been wavering so much I didn’t want to set myself up to disappoint my supporters.  But my body completely fought through the flu that had been coming back and I barely broke a sweat in the first section of endurance.  I couldn’t be more proud.  I found myself flashing back to my test to get to yellow and remembering how I was drenched in sweat and out of breath, this for me was the biggest win of all.. an improvement on my strength and stamina.

Hardest part of the test?  The 90 seconds of tossing the heavy bag at a 45 degree angle, oh god my arms.

How did I do on technical?  Definitely not as clean as my private class I had taken the week earlier (likely the nerves) but only 1 demerit!!! Another big win 🙂  And coach Nick said my hook has improved soo much so I just need to keep practicing.

My favorite part of the test?  How hard Nick throws his hook when you have to block 🙂  Believe it or not, I love the feeling of someone hitting me hard.  It’s my favorite part of class but not a lot of the guys feel comfortable wailing on me (nor is that necessarily part of the class because we’re supposed to focus on technique).  This is the main reason I want to get to Blue.. or at least get some gear together so Kiersten and I can wail on each other in the privacy of our own gym 🙂

The sad part about getting my green… only taking one class since passing!!  Ugh, this flu has really taken me down. Hopefully I’ll be up to class starting Monday.

Things I’m changing up for the next couple of months:

  • Moving to 5 boxing classes a week (from 4).  I’ve taken out my one day a week at Club 16 to accommodate this.
  • Bumping up yoga to twice a week (from 1).  I’m so uptight and sore, I need a way to just let it alllll out.
  • I’m going to start a meditation pack on sports (Headspace, best meditation app every, even for skeptics like me!!) The pack is designed to help you reach peak performance and experience the benefits of mindfulness for focus, competition and recovery.  I think this will help me loosen up.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about extending my 8 weeks of healthy eating/drinking to February (basically doubling my commitment).  I don’t know if I’ve lost weight since I haven’t jumped on the scale, but my clothes are looser, people have started commenting on me looking a little leaner, and other than me catching the flu twice this month, I feel overall better. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t think about booze anymore?!  I’ve brought my family shame. 😦

 

Last thing for the day, I found this amazing article about boxing psychology with a great diagram:

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I just love this… and I feel like it really brings to light all of the things I’m trying to work on all at once which may make people realize how much is really going on in my head.

  1. Technical Ability:  This is all brand new, steep learning curve.
  2. Tactical Awareness:  Oh man I have barely made a dent in this but it’s a big part of green, introduction to ringmanship.
  3. Physical Strengths:  I feel like I’ve made huge strides in this corner but a long way to go, especially in stamina.  A 2 minute round can feel like an hour.  A lot of the work on my knee through physio has made any of this possible. If someone would have told me that I’d be sticking needles in my body weekly to make sure I can bend my knee, I would have told them I’d rather quit the sport.  Now I’m begging for more needles so I can go to class.
  4. Mental Strengths:  An area of focus.  I am the queen of motivation and discipline but confidence and self-belief are falling behind.  Hopefully my meditation efforts this month will help me channel my focus and stay calm.

Next post should be coming up within the next week or so with some of my new green skills.. shovel hooks and upper cuts 🙂

Wish me luck.

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My Arch-Nemesis

I know what you’re thinking, did Shannon lose her boxing bestie and they now stare each other down at the gym?  Hell no.  Look at these happy two:

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Super proud of Kiersten for passing her test to yellow last week which meant this photo commemorates our first class back as partners!!  Who thought our friendship would take us down the path of being hookers?  😉   If that isn’t friendship, I don’t know what is?

Also a quick shout out to Ali for getting to green this past week too!!  Now he’s back in the same level as his son so he can continue to embarrass the crap out of him in class. I can’t wait to be that mom!

So my arch-nemesis.  It’s the hook.  I can’t get this thing if my life depended on it.  There’s so much happening in my head:

  • Swing around, not too far out
  • Land with a straight arm, little bit of wrist curved down
  • Elbow level, not up, not down
  • Load and keep the elbow tight to the body before throwing
  • Rotate the hips to develop the power
  • Weight on the front foot to load
  • Weight off the front foot to throw
  • Turn the left foot enough for rotation but don’t over rotate

Gee, anything else?

Sometimes I find before class my best practice happens when I have my headphones in and I’m just finding my own rhythm and forgetting about the laundry list above.  But the second you put that target in front of me I panic.

My wise owl husband (“professional athlete”) had some good points. I don’t learn like most people so why am I frustrated that I’m not picking it up quickly.  And I need to break down the movements into little chunks and then piece together the chunks later.

I was swinging away at the heavy bag the other day and Coach Nick had the best comment.

He says how’s the hook going?

I say it could be better, it’s been a month and I’m still not getting it.

He snickers and replies, do you like instant coffee?

Me, ummm nope?

He says.. don’t be instant coffee.  Don’t put the powder in, water in, and stir with your finger.  Some things take time to be really good.  *me picturing my snobby french press in my kitchen*

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Pressure’s on though, and my green test is only 3 weeks away.  3 weeks!!  Where did the time go?  I’m 24 classes down, 12 more to go.  The hook is so important in the test and being able to not only throw it but defend it and then counter off of it.. it’s why I’m stressing.  This means lots of work at home to just focus, head down and make sure I’m getting ready.  I know 2 guys also testing at the end of the month so pressure is on to nail it.

The endurance section is going to be quite tough too:

  • 2 x 2 minute skipping sessions (multiple types of footwork)
  • 2 x 2 minute heavy bag sessions
  • 130 jabs and 130 crosses in 2 minutes
  • 2 x 1.5 minute plyometrics on the heavy bag
  • 7 x 1.5 minute arm calisthenics
  • Ab work
  • Pushups
  • Plank (I think 2.5 mins?)

Which leads me into my update on nutrition.  It’s now been 2 weeks since I tightened up on my eating and most importantly cut out alcohol.  And no, I haven’t cheated once!!!

I miss you…….

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Hehe kidding, I’m actually good. Want to know why?

  • I feel freaking amazing, so full of energy from wake up to bedtime (even that 3-4PM crash that usually happens)
  • I don’t feel hungry, I’m eating enough and feel fueled
  • I’m sleeping like a baby.  For me falling asleep is impossible and I wake up often in the middle night… so this is gold
  • Waking up refreshed… likely because of the killer sleep!
  • I don’t know if I’ve lost weight (since not stepping on a scale was part of the deal) but I feel slimmer, toned, and overall sexy

I know I know, it’s only 2 weeks down.  So we’ll talk more after I’m done a full month, that will be the true test I think.  But so far, I’ve made it through Halloween with zero candy.  Go me go!  Now… to make it through the Christmas season… yikes.  Let’s just say this is probably the best time of year to do this because as everyone is slugging back booze and baked goods, I’m swearing them off.

We’ll see who’s laughing in January 😉

Not to mention, how much more fit I’ll feel in Jan/Feb (knock on wood) making my way towards Blue.  Crap, did I jinx that?

And no, I haven’t tried to sneak on the unicorn dress to see if I’ve made progress.  Although Steve did throw down a challenge for me to wear it in Vegas in December instead of him taking me out for New Years.

We’ll see….  I feel like he’s just being lazy on making New Years plan 😉

 

 

The Unicorn Dress

Today marks my half way mark to being eligible for Green!  The sad part about today, or specifically about this week, is that I’ve fallen 2 classes behind having enough eligible classes before testing day (roughly November 24). It doesn’t mean I can’t do another private testing but I was hoping to try a group test.

Why did I miss those 2 classes?  My stupid knee.

In my last post I talked a little bit about my knee traction problem.Basically instead of the knee cap going up and down during basic things like walking, lunging, etc, it goes diagonally.  My last trip to chiro included a technique called Graston where she takes a a metal tool that looks like a blunt knife and scrapes scar tissue away through the skin.  I didn’t take a video at my appointment because I was either in tears or sweating too hard to think of it, but if you jump to 2:30 in this video it’ll give you a good idea of what I had done:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGeM-DuDmo4

After, she tapes me up which helps force the kneecap to go in the right direction:

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And then I took a trip to do some infrared sessions which gets the the blood flowing so that good tissue can rebuild faster:

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It looks very Frankenstein, I know.  But it really gets things flowing.

Out of my usual 4 classes a week, I only attended 2.  My Saturday morning class was after having 4 days of rest (1 chiro session and 2 infrared) and I took it pretty slow.  No squats, no rock climbers, no lunges, nothing.  But all the partner and bag work made me realize how much I use that knee!!  Stupid knee.  After getting home, I popped a few Aleve, had a bubbly (don’t worry I’m not including that photo!) and will wait until Monday to do another follow up class.  This also means I have to be extra careful so I can somehow squeeze in 2 classes into my regular schedule of 4/week  before November 24th.

But what was I actually going to talk about today?

I call this, the unicorn dress.

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Steve hates this dress… and I’ll tell you why.

I bought it several years ago as a “stretch” dress… as in, I need to lose that last few inches in order for it to look perfect on me.  Well guess what, I never lost those… and I may or may not have gained a couple more 😉

Steve hates this dress because every few weeks I try and put it on and angrily stomp around the house because it doesn’t fit right.  It zips up… but I also happen to look about 6 months pregnant in it. Stupid dress.  Usually by the end, he has to slide it off me like a banana peel and we’re both grunting and sweating from the ordeal.

I’m a clothing hoarder.. especially with pants.  They say you should toss out pants yearly that don’t fit because they go out of style anyways… but nope, I’m sitting on this pile since about 2008:

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I even have a pair of size 4 jeans in there.  Ya, I wore them after I got out of the hospital from a kidney infection.  I wore them once.  Then I got better.

I know we are all guilty of having things like these in our closets.  I’m willing to part with some of it, but that dress, I’m giving it one more shot.

And here’s the plan.

I’m a shitty eater.  I’m not necessarily talking eating pizzas all the time but more like… eat well for 4 days, then not eat anything for a day, then binge eat the next day on cereal only.  If I find time to plan my meals, especially for during the day I’m usually ok but if Steve’s not around for dinners I start wandering around the house at 7pm calling out his name.  On nights where I have late boxing classes, I usually just eat a protein bar before and then a shake after and call that dinner.

Those who know me or work with me know I don’t actually eat too much, which I think is a terrible stigma I give off given that I’m not stick thin.  And no, I don’t hide in my car eating McDonalds (that was my “fat-shannon” days circa 2010).  My weight comes from inconsistent eating patterns and my body often being under-fueled and confused.

So the plan.

I’m giving myself 60 days to clean up my nutrition act.  That puts me at December 23rd so that I can enjoy some Christmas dinner.

What it will include:

  • No alcohol (panic is setting in… literally my heart is racing)
  • No processed stuff (except bars/shakes)
  • No refined sugar
  • No gluten (hehe trick one! This is always the case!)
  • No dairy
  • Nothing fried
  • No friends… haha kidding, but this list feels pretty lonely….

It’ll include a lot of this:

What won’t it include?

  • No calorie counting.  I want this to feel like a “good choice” challenge, not a calculated make-work plan.
  • No cheating.  (I have one exception, noted below)
  • No jumping on the scale during the 60 days, just before and after.  Steve you better hide the scale (again).

 

What is the one exception?

We have  a trip to Vegas booked the second weekend of December.  There will be drinking and while I drink, I manage to find bags of chips… I can neither confirm nor deny that this may happen.

 

What is my goal out of this?

I better damn well lose some inches because I want to wear that dress on New Years Eve and I’m determined to take a picture in it and post it for you.  Steve… if you didn’t get the memo, you’re taking me out on New Years.

 

This starts tomorrow.

 

Fight Night #51

I finally attended my first live boxing fight!!

It’s funny.  Through this process a lot of people ask me “So who’s your favorite boxer?” but because this sport is new to me, it’s not like I’ve spent my life following the athletes and so I don’t have any.  Hell, up until a month ago I thought Rocky was a real person.  I’m pretty sure Steve is still laughing about this…  I know this because every time I’ve come back from a class he asks “Was Rocky there?”.  It’s a mortifying thing to share, but what’s the point of a blog if you’re not honest and in this case, vulnerable? 🙂

That being said.. because I started during the same time as the Olympics I was familiar with some olympic boxers and was delighted to find out that Claressa Shields was rooting for me and Kiersten. See below 🙂

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If that isn’t awesome, I don’t know what is.  And kudos to Kiersten to building that relationship.  #parrysbeforesweeps

 

OKOK back to the fight night.  First things first, I have a deeper burning desire to get in the ring.  Most people asked me if it made me more nervous to get in there, heck no.  I want to spar so badly.  I was sold when a microphone dropped from the ceiling for the announcer… it doesn’t take much to impress me folks.  Kiersten was more blown away by the announcer voice.  Equally cliche.

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A shot from the last fight but as you can see, the announcer is badass.

Top 4 things I learned from Fight Night:

  1. I’m pretty sure a walkout song isn’t a thing at this level.  Sigh.
  2. I’m pretty sure a walkout with an entourage isn’t a thing at this level. There goes my need to have an embroidered satin robe with a dramatic hood.  2x sigh.
  3. No ring girls?  Outraged.
  4. There were spit buckets!! That part of my dream lives on. It’s the one thing Steve won’t let me practice at home…

There were several exhibitions and then a couple key fights.  A highlight of my evening was seeing Simone in the ring (you know I can’t wait to join you in there!)

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The other highlight of my night was seeing the main event.  It blew me away that fights could happen without head gear but I learned that after 10 fights, you and your opponent can agree to both wear head gear or both not.  I can’t stand head gear or helmets (softball days) but given that this is a hobby and not a career, I can’t picture ever wanting to fight without the head gear.  Don’t worry mum.

My favorite clip from the highlight fight is here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqetSk4u5lw

I think the number one takeaways I had from watching that night was how important it is to always keep moving.  I have the worst habit of doing a combo and then standing there proud that I completed it.  You know I did the same thing in softball…  hit the ball hard and fast and stood at the plate and watched it (while my dad yelled at me to run).  I do remember getting used to the idea of hitting and booking it, maybe I can work a little harder on this at class.

Those were my highlights… the highlights of our boxing friends?  Seeing Kiersten and I in makeup.  Clearly there’s no difference in our looks in and outside the ring right…..?

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What’s up for this week?

Although I often feel like my hook is improving, every time I do target work with Coach Dave I feel like I take 10 steps back.  It’s what we refer to as the DP (terrible acronym) but it stands for the Dave Panics.  He’ll likely grin as he reads this but I’ll one day get over the fact that he intimidates me way more than the other coaches so I panic and forget everything I’ve ever learned.

In other news… for those who don’t know… my right knee has been causing me a world of pain.  I have an amazing Osteopath (shoutout to Becky) and Chiro (shoutout to Lindsay) but unless I take a break longer than a day, my knee problem isn’t going to solve itself.  I have a pretty high tolerance for pain so it’s a lot saying I’m even considering taking a week off.

We’ll see.

Apparently the constant lunge stance and then deeper lunges to body punch have led to a patellofemoral tracking issue.  In short, my kneecap is not tracking straight and instead it’s grinding up against my femur.  Yes, it’s as painful as it sounds.  During class I don’t notice during target practice because I’m full of adrenaline but outside of that I’m in a ton of pain.  Maybe Steve will give me the talk tonight about the “long term goal vs. short term gain of taking a rest”…  but we’ll see if I listen. 😉

I’ll see if I can focus on the core body movements (still do some dynamics stances and twisting) but less of the lunging, squatting and overall exercises.

Today’s rest day so my feet are up, and the wine glass has been poured.

Wish me luck this week.

 

 

 

This isn’t foxy boxing.

I was at a party the other night meeting new people and a common question I got asked was “tell me something interesting about you, something that will make you stand out”.  This always fascinates me because me being me, I have a laundry list of weird things on my “about me” checklist.

  • I’ve been to over 40 countries
  • I speak 4 languages
  • Tap dancer
  • Zumba instructor
  • Etc. etc.

That night I decided to share the fact that I’ve picked up boxing with the intention of getting in the ring next year.  The reaction I expected?

https://i2.wp.com/i.imgur.com/zG4l7m7.gif

What I got instead was… “Like, in jello?”

Seriously?

Yes, because I’m devoting my time and energy for over a year to do this:

Image result for girls fighting in jello gif

Sorry Steve… that’s definitely not happening (anymore since university).  Kidding mom 😉

 

I am the farthest thing from a super feminist but I sincerely doubt that if it was two guys talking at a party… well firstly, one guy wouldn’t ask another guy that question.  But secondly, if the guy responded with boxing, I’m positive he didn’t picture a bunch of guys in a blow-up pool fighting in jello.

 

A few days after the party, I went to class and my boxing mates asked how the party went so I told some stories then took out my phone to share some pictures from the night.  I showed them this:

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Consistent reaction from the guys at boxing was… “Wow, you’re actually, really pretty.”  Now if I hadn’t endured the feedback at the party the previous weekend, maybe I could have taken this feedback as a compliment.  But the only word I heard in that sentence was “actually”.

I talked to Steve that night and he gave some good advice like… You don’t go to boxing to look good, you go to train.  Or… if you wear makeup to boxing it’ll just smudge from the sweat.  He’s right about those things.  But this isn’t about looking pretty, it’s about feeling feminine.  The best quote from Steve that night was:

“Shannon, you chose a sport where you punch people.  What do you expect?”

What do I expect?

The thing I am trying to focus on is that I’m not, nor will I ever be, one of the guys at the club.  I was reminded of that tonight as I got punched in the tit.  It was actually pretty funny… thank god it was lefty.

 

What else happened this week?  There was a commercial shooting at the club so we had classes at the Pipe Shop in the Quay which was super cool:

imag0973

And oddly enough the one thing that’s crazy improved has been my skipping.  Thank god I’m having something technical go my way because it’s certainly not my hook yet! I filmed a couple of my tricks:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETO4sCMQh2U

I can go for minutes and minutes without screwing up on the rope and I can do 7 types of footwork: Regular, split feet, one foot, jumping jacks, heels, high knees and kick backs.  Makes you wonder how something you used to dread magically improves.  Side note if you think doing all those types of footwork for minutes at a time are easy, pick a jump rope and call me 😉

 

What’s up for this next week?

10 classes of yellow down, 26 to go until I’m eligible to test for green.

My left hand and wrist are still struggling quite a bit and it’s tough to give it rest time to heal so I’m focusing a lot on technique and slowing down the power.

Next Saturday is the Griffin’s Fight Night so Kiersten and I are heading there for a mini girls night and I’m super stoked to see my first live amateur fight.  I’ll definitely have tons of pics for my next post.