October 19, 2010
Crying on a beach in a pair of boxing gloves is not the best of looks.
Let me explain. After putting yesterdays concerns about being in the blue group to one side I decided that I would push myself as hard as I can and prove that I had the potential to be in the red group and as a result I had a hugely productive morning.
Our 6.30 run along the promenade went well, and I was at the front of the pack for our stair running session, which consisted of about 3 flights up and down a twisting staircase in the woods, and then a backward run up the zig zag path that takes you from the beach front to the top of the cliffs. I think I impressed the trainers, and possible some of my fellow blue group members. I felt knackered at breakfast, but secretly quite chuffed.
We then went down to the beach again, for circuits which was bloody hard, 12 sets of abs exercises, and the 12 sets of different weight baring exercises like dead lifting beer kegs, and swinging a 5k ball around you. We were all feeling the pain. In fact one girl (a green in fact) stormed off and hasn’t been seen since – that’s how hard this thing is. But even so I was still hanging in there.
Then it all changed.
Out came the boxing gloves. Now I love boxing, not the sport particularly but as a form of exercise it’s great. But as the session progressed we moved on from the jabs and hooks, and it become very “blokey”, very “aggressive”. By this point I had been paired up with one of the blokes, in fact one of the more enthusiastic and competitive blokes…and I felt a sense of dread as he got geared up for the combination of elbows, knees and shins that he was gonna throw my way. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I wasn’t enjoying this, I was actually quite scared by it worried that I was going to get hit.
I voiced my concerns asking “why it had to be so violent” which wasn’t taken very well. So I carried on, but it didn’t take long before my eyes started to well up and a lump arrived in my throat. The final straw was the instructor coming over and telling me “it’s only a form of exercise”, then the tears arrived. I was distraught and I didn’t really know why.
The instructors were great and stopped giving me such a hard time, and after a cuddle and the reassurance that “its ok, you’re just a lover not a fighter” spent the rest of the session with one of the instructors just boxing, which was fine.
It kind of threw me. Not because I never cry, cos I do on occasion but more because it made me think about why I had such a reaction to this kind of exercise. I hate violence of any kind, and have never had a fight in my life…but I suppose I also didn’t see the relevance of doing combat style moves, and making reference to how you might use these moves in a real situation.
I came back to the hotel and phoned my boyfriend for a bit of moral support. He was of course very sympathetic, but also equally perplexed reminding me that “you’ve been on at me for weeks for us to go and join a kick boxing class” so after today’s shenanigans I can quite clearly say I will not be joining a combat class of any type any time soon.