We had antagonized each other all week. Each of us trying to pysche the other out with friendly banter, gif fights and emoji captions. In my corner, 7 years under my belt of boxing training, speed and small stature and in her corner, flexibility, height and yogi aesthetics(not too mention a long reach).
We both joked that if it all got to harry we would jump in to interpretive dance.
I started boxing seven years ago, taking lessons in stand up boxing and kickboxing. As a trainer I thought it was a great tool to teach clients with, not only from the physical aspect but the mindset that comes with it. Little did I know it was going to be my consistent in my life there after.
I married a professional boxer and coach years later, and I remember going into his gym on one of our first dates (as you do) and being incredibly impressed with the boxers that were training and being trained. Their grace in the ring, their focus at learning their skills and the consistent drive to give it their best every time they entered the ring. I also noticed the amazing camaraderie after each round, the hugs that were given after each fight knowing that moments before they had felt the bone crushing hit to their ribs from their opponent or a left hook to the jaw caught off guard.
Although I have trained everyday for years and coached alongside my husband, not once would I ever consider going in to the ring myself. For one, my husband had always sent me in as the offence trainer, I could hit but they could not hit back. The lesson for them was to try to avoid being hit as well as to be able to control their emotions when in battle.
If you have never been in the ring, controlling emotions is very difficult and if you have never been hit, the intensity of your excitement becomes amped to the enth degree once you hear the sound of the bell.
We have a 3 rule system in our club, referring to the fact that you need to at least make 3 sessions of training each week before you are even allowed to enter in. That also refers to and includes training in the art of boxing, the foundations as well as a few months under your belt (no pun intended) as a rule of thumb, to be able to spar.
My girlfriend and I fit all of the above categories. For one Jules has been a Raw Art MC Member for over a year now, and although she has been working all around the world as the Yogi Guru that she is, she has managed to find boxing gyms wherever she is to stay on point. Proudly sending photos of herself in the Uk and may I add impressing those within those gyms with her skills. But not once, did we consider, that either one of us would be put in the ring to spar against each other.
For my part it was time to go in, there was a moment about 9 months ago where it all came together for me as far as learning to take a hit. For years I would be horribly offended if I did get the hit of the glove against my face, it could literally bring me to tears. There is a rule usually, that a trainer can’t train someone he loves, and there has been times when my husband/ coach has watched me have meltdowns as my ego played itself out in a multitude of emotions, from being offended, hurt, angry and embarrassed. Each time I learned something more about myself after those meltdowns and he as always supportive, would tell me to get back in and try it again.
As Jules and I trained all week, the hype around our tete a tete was felt throughout the MC. Each member goading us on in a supportive manner, but cheeky at the same time. I would whisper in her ear that her reach was going to get me and she would scoff and say, ‘Are you kidding me, your faster than I am’. That afternoon we were sending each other text messages with characters cracking their knuckles and mini boxers dancing around in victory.
In my mind we were in the throws of the Holm vs Rousey controversey , the lights of the MGM in our eyes, the crowd cheering us on and bets being waged all over Vegas. As you can see the mind is a powerful tool, in this particular instance delusional ,but powerful none the less. I started thinking about these warrior chicks, and on what I am sure is a minuscule level of what they are up against, emotions do run high regardless.
The day arrived and Jules walked onto the matts, incredibly pale, eyes slightly dilated mouthing to me as she entered, ‘I feel like I am going to vomit!!
I too had to admit the feeling was mutual. My husband/trainer only that morning had noticed I was slightly off centre, dropping things, repeating myself and completely tuned out to conversations. As my mouthguard was being fitted and my wraps were going on it all felt a bit surreal. We were actually going to willingly go in and try to punch each other. Our only rule, ‘No Boob shots!!
Our gloves on, we entered the ring, tapped gloves and waited for the bell to toll. And then, IT was on,we were in it, I mean really in it. We danced around each other, everything we had been trained for was in our minds watching each others moves like a game of chess.
I don’t remember who threw the first punch and it doesn’t matter. As the bell went off announcing our first round, we embraced each other with a huge hug and realised each of us had forgotten to breathe. The first rule of boxing was broken, oh and the second rule, I broke the, ‘No boob shot’rule!(sorry babe).
We completed 5 rounds against each other,each round only one minute long but the intensity and the sweat felt like 3minutes after 12 rounds. Our hands shaking, our eyes glowing our minds alert, we were damn proud of each other and ourselves.
So here’s the thing, the day I hit my best friend was one of the best days of my life. As far as a bucket list is concerned, get it on yours. Face your fears,you won’t be disappointed.
I am this woman