What do you do when your friend tells you they're organising a charity white collar boxing event?
As a 31 year old, size 14 (recently 16), un-sporty, office-bound ecommerce operations manager I've signed myself (and my skinny hedge fund analyst friend Lora) up to a white collar boxing event in November this year.
Neither of us have ever boxed before - or in fact done any sport of any note since school. We're the only girls on the team of 16 office workers who are taking on the challenge of training for 4 months to get into the ring. This is our boxing diary
Boxing for Buhinga: The Fight Club Diaries. Week 2
Oh FFS, I've contracted man flu from the boyfriend. I feel like death just sitting at my desk, yet the fact that my incessant sniffing is driving my colleagues mad isn't worrying me - I'm more concerned about boxing tonight. The last thing I need is to be seen skipping boxing club on only our second week. I haven't even been to the gym this week but by 4pm I'm determined that WE ARE GOING. If I feel rough I'll just have to stop. Lora is less than convinced- though she seems impressed (if slightly scared) by my determination. When we get there and someone says 'didn't think you two would be back' I feel glad we showed up. Luckily it's a quiet week as lots of people are off attending various Olympic events so my wimpy weakling-ness isn't too obvious. We also manage to skip the dreaded warm up by faffing with our hand wraps. You'd think I'd be performing at superhero levels as I think I'm so full of over-the-counter-remedies as to be practically radio-active; it doesn't seem to help.
I still don't really know anyone (except Rich) but highlight of the night is that someone (not Rich) said 'well done' to me. Nailed it.
At the end of the session everyone else is phenominally sweaty except me and Lora....this is either because 1) My Home Economics teacher was in fact scientifically correct when she said "ladies don't sweat, they glow", or 2) We haven't worked hard enough.
Lora emailed me the day after training to say thanks for motivating her into going (actually what she said was "Thanks for making me go boxing last night, you're a good friend, kind of like a bully, but also a friend"). Motivation I tell you, it's motivation.
My gloves arrive to the office on Thursday - they rock - mainly because they don't stink of man sweat and don't fall off. I'm somewhat upset by the pink on them (apparently all women love pink on sportswear *sigh*) but they still maintain super coolness so I'm chuffed. People in the office are starting to regard me with concerned looks, as pads, gloves, wraps and other items start to pile up on the floor next to my desk. One of our developers wants to know when I start running up and down stairs to the tune of 'Eye of the Tiger' - suddenly everyone has a boxing related pun.
We have to exchange photos for the group so we can start to recognise who is who - as it's mainly friends - of - friends everyone seems in the same boat as us of only knowing one person who knows someone else etc. The example attached to the request shows one of the guys in their boxing gear. Lora sends one of herself dressed as a sailor.
I go for a session with my own personal trainer on Saturday - (dubbed "Simon the Merciless" - amongst other things - in my house since my boyfriend had to stop attending the gym because 'he hurts me!' *) .He's quite excited by my challenge and has offered to help me so I'm heading into the gym at 8am on a Saturday to do some pad work before it gets busy. The yoga yummy mummies of Richmond look at me with considerable suspicion as I bop along the street with my boxing gloves. Wimps!
Session is fun but once again I feel I have a way to go. Amongst about a million other things - main worries seem to be that I'm too static on my feet - possibly a symptom of being so tight in the cage on Tuesday sessions that we don't move much (or lets be honest more likely that I'm just stiff, old and unfit), and the fact I keep forgetting to defend my face by pulling back my punches. Lots of work to do but good to have some one-to-one advice to direct my efforts.
I watch the Olympic women's boxing quarter and semi finals to give myself an idea of what I can expect in the ring. Not sure if that was my brightest idea. Mainly this seems to be getting hit. Hmm hadn't thought about that. Getting hit...
* Additional evidence of a sheer lack of allowance of excuses is a) the time he made the whole class do an extra 3 minutes on the powerplate because someone in it uttered an expletive (and if you've ever been on a power plate you'll know that extra minute makes you want to curl up into a ball and sob, and b) the new 'name and shame' photos appearing on the gym's Facebook page for when you're being a wimp with your sit ups. I kid you not.
About Boxing for Buhinga & Universal Chance
The Boxing for Buhinga event will be held on the 24th of November at the Grange St Pauls hotel in London. For tickets and enquiries go to http://universalchance.org/tickets/. You can read about the fighters at http://universalchance.org.
Universal Chance is a charitable trust set up by a group of friends who share a common desire to use the skills that we have developed through our careers to do what we can to help communities that have not been granted the same chances that we have whilst inspiring others to do the same.
We are dedicated to implementing tangible projects that will help less privileged communities and individuals reach their potential . This could be anything from improving education facilities to providing medical facilities or giving access to clean water. To find out more check out our site http://universalchance.org/ or follow us on twitter at @universalchance.
Follow Helen Colclough on Twitter: www.twitter.com/helenc12