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*

instant

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…….

booze

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 😉

 

 

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Hooking and the Dingle Ball

It’s been awhile since my last post. I’ll probably move to once a week since I’m getting to a stage where I’m constantly practicing the same move over and over.  To you, that may sound boring.  To me, it sounds like a burning love for boxing 🙂

 

For the record, I’m still loving this sport.  I kinda relate it to meeting Steve. 

 

I think about it all the time.

When I’m not practicing it, I’m thinking about it at home, at work.

I’m constantly thinking about ways to get to know it better.

I should probably stop there with the analogies before it gets weird 😉

 

OK first.. a fun selfie with my boxing bud Kiersten.

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Please note our sweaty faces and of course my bad ass jaguar wraps.  Yet another shout out to my awesome boxer friend Ali for the wraps as a “congrats on moving to yellow” present.  Definitely bringing out my inner animal!  They’ve also now warranted an interim boxer nickname… The Distraxion.  Shannon “The Distraxion” Liddicoat.  Why the X you ask?  Because I’m badass.  That’s why.

 

Now onto serious business.  Hooking.  No mom, I haven’t turned to the streets.  I’m talking about throwing an amazing hook 🙂

The hook has been a painful learning process.  Mainly because I started yellow classes 3/4 the way through the lesson plan so I felt a bit behind but the coaches have been outstanding in pulling me aside to teach me the basics so I can catch up quickly.  The hook is easiest split into 3 steps:

  1. Start with a jab/cross or just a cross and make sure your body is fully rotated through in order to:
  2. Fully rotate with force back to the right, pivoting the hips while:
  3. Hooking the left arm parallel to the ground, elbow, up, coming to the jaw line or just above the glove line.

Now that is way more to remember than a basic jab.  I’m thinking about shifting my weight perfectly so that I still have enough balance to finish with another cross.  I’m thinking about making sure my fist is facing downward, not with my palm facing me on the hook.  I’m pretty much thinking about every technical aspect of this punch.  Toughest part is getting out of my head.

I loaded a new video to YouTube, thanks to Kiersten for letting me rip her shoulder out 🙂

Good progress so far:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp4B_1qf2T0

 

Next up, the Dingle Ball.  Hehe ok ok, the speed bag.  I remember staring at that thing when I first started and thinking “You are the cliche I want to master the most”.  The great part about Griffin’s is that if you’re trying something, so many people walk over and offer their assistance.  I think part of being part of the boxing family is about leaving all pride and attitude at the door and being able to accept help when you can get it.

Let’s be clear here, this has never been a strength of mine. 

I’ve had kids walk over to help me, adults, coaches, you name it.  And after seven weeks, I’ve finally picked up the pace to a quick spiral motion.  It’s like music to my ears.  Next step will be rotating right/left but that’ll likely take a bit more time.  Please note I have to stand on a platform in order to reach 🙂

Here’s the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFhiHdwckBk

 

What’s on the list for the next week? 

A very well deserved rest day tomorrow.  Let’s just say I can barely feel my left arm from learning the hook this week, not to mention having Coach Dave leaning his body on my arms during calisthenics (mini 1-minute arm movements).  Haha I don’t think I’ve sweat that hard in weeks.

I’m still on pace for 4 classes a week which will keep me on track to test the last week of November.  I really need to keep my focus on track, and more importantly my nutrition top notch.  The strength requirements to pass the next test are significantly harder, I’ll need my A game for sure.

 

Next time… a focus on nutrition and body care.  I’m finally understanding why Steve keeps harping on me for rest days 🙂

 

Ohhhh-oh we’re half way there…

24 classes needed to get to test day.

12 classes down.

12 to go.

Test day has been set:  September 29th!!! 34 days away.

I’m getting anxious, this will be the first of 4 tests until the fight, but more importantly the first of 3 tests until I actually get into the ring to spar.  Make no mistake, I’ve been punched in the face and ribs more times than I can count in the past 2 weeks.  Don’t worry, I’ve returned some of those punches 🙂  They mainly remind you that you clearly haven’t ducked fast enough or that you failed to defend a step-jab to the body.  I’ll learn eventually, I just need to practice.

So let’s take a second to reset everyone’s expectations (including my own) of my journey before describing what my test will entail.

what

I’m prettying sure I fielded several calls during the Olympics from a certain someone… (mom)… so thanks Olympic slow motion shots showing blood flying from every punch to the face.

Back to what’s in the test and a little fact/fiction game. The test is broken into 2 pieces:

  1. Strength and Endurance

Skipping is a crucial part of boxing warm-up… FACT!  2 minutes of skipping non-stop (sound easy?  I dare you to pick up a skipping rope)

100 bag punches in a minute

100 crunches in a minute

1 minute plank (easy peasy)

Lunging while holding a heavy bag over your head and steering it from left to right for a minute (not fun)

Roadwork is a crucial part of boxing training…. FICTION!  No running on this test.

7 1-minute arm endurance sets (criss-cross, up-down, flying motion, etc.)

2. Technical

Jab-cross combinations – What does this look like?  This isn’t me standing there and punching a heavy bag, I’m in a ring advancing, stepping back, left, right and hitting targets with the coach.

Body punching – Can’t hit the coaches body? You won’t pass.  They’re swift little movers.

Boxing is all about offense…… FICTION!  Defense isn’t about protecting yourself, it’s about getting yourself in a ready position to strike.

Jab defense combinations – 4 of them: Parry, sweep, slip, step-back.  My back hurts so much from slipping I have actually shed tears.

Cross defense combinations – 3 of them:  Parry, slip, step-back.

Boxing counter punches can take out an opponent……. FACT!  Defense-counter punches set you up to swiftly divert in the opposite direction that you throw a punch so that you spring back with force.  It’s an amazing tool turning my back into a solid layer of muscle. Your whole body throws the punch, not just your arm.

Jab and cross defense and strike combinations – 6 of them… I won’t even both describing but I’ll definitely get Steve to shoot a video one day of me doing them.  Needless to say this is where I get punched the most.

 

Well that’s the test, all in 25 minutes.

 

Easy, right?