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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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 🙂