Tag Archives: boxing

You Must Gots to be Joking

23 Apr

My TP schedule for the week generally comes through very early on Monday morning. Since I didn’t know what was on tap for today when I went to bed last night, I slept in a little and checked it when I got up at 7:30. This has got to be some kind of cruel joke:

Don’t quite know what you’re looking at? I’ll help! In the top left corner of the screenshot, you will see the word “bike.” Just a bit to the right and a little above the word “bike,” you will see the description, “trainer or wind.” If you keep reading, it gets better. See the description of my workout? No? Here, I’ve enlarged it for you.

The post-activity comments are blank because, well duh, I have not completed the activity yet. But I can already tell you what I’m planning to write: “I f*cking hate you.” And I don’t know if the you I’m thinking I might direct that nastiness towards is myself or the person who loads these schedules or the wind itself; the very forces of nature that contributed to my inability to rise from the sofa for nearly six hours yesterday.

I don’t have access to a trainer, so that means I have to get back on my bike today and go find more wind. I know that I should just get dressed and get back out there. But I’m finding it extremely difficult to motivate after the brick from hell. So I’m struggling with this dilemma: do I just suck it up, get on the bike, get the workout in and breakthrough this reticence; maybe have an amazing workout? Or do I back off, just do my by 20 minute recovery run and then go to yoga later? My fear is that I am on the verge of total burn out. And I don’t want to burn out. I want to fan the flames.

When you’re involved with this kind of training, there will be challenging, wall-hitting moments and it is in those moments that you learn exactly what kind of athlete you are. Sit back, learn nothing. Break through, learn everything. This is how it went with boxing. So many nights, after working a ten-hour shift at the big bank, all I wanted to do was go home and go to sleep. But I’d lug myself and my gear to the gym where wind wasn’t the problem. Five, six, seven, eight rounds of hard sparring. With two or three different boxers. Just to mix things up. Feeling good against the girl ten pounds lighter? Here’s some body shots with the girl twenty pounds heavier. Sometimes I did well, sometimes I ended up in the locker room near tears. But every one of those training sessions made me a better fighter.

The mere thought of having to get back on that bike right now and go ride into a headwind is making me want to quit this whole endeavor. It feels very personal. Like my will is being tested. Like the universe is conspiring to see exactly how much punishment I am willing to endure. How badly I want to do well at TriMiami which is now less than a month away. But it’s not the universe, it’s not my coach, it’s not the wind. It’s just me. I’ve made the choice to do this so it’s me I’m mad at. Because me won’t let me quit.

Swimming in Terms I Can Understand

22 Mar

Another epiphany in the pool today! This one came courtesy of our swim guru, Aaron Ciarla, who is also an assistant swim coach here at the U. I met Aaron before he signed on to work with the Alien Endurance crew just as UM was starting to form a student boxing club. Aaron likes to hit the bag and knows that I used to box.

Today he happened to catch me flailing around in the pool during a set of 3 x 100s. I was resting between sets and Aaron came over to tell me that I was throwing hooks when I should be throwing jabs.

Ah ha.

It’s the same thing.


Over the last few months, I’ve improved my cardio capacity to the point that I can complete the 1000 yards or the 2000 yards or what have you. But in terms of mindset, I’ve been thinking that my body is just not built for this sport so the best I can hope for is to become nominally proficient in it. Not the most positive mindset.

After Aaron’s adjustment, I realized I’ve been thinking about this all wrong. It’s not body type–although yes, someone long and lean with narrow hips, great upper body strength and big feet has a natural advantage–but rather, it’s the movement through water. And that movement on the forward stroke, is the same basic movement one makes when throwing a jab or straight right correctly.

I’ve been thinking that the stroke comes from the shoulder but of course it doesn’t! In the same way that the punch doesn’t come from the shoulder. The punch, and more importantly the power of the punch, comes from the hips and the rotation of the torso. As soon as I applied that logic to my swimming and made a conscious effort to extend and rotate my body on the forward stroke, things got a helluva a lot more fun in the pool.

I still feel like I’m probably wasting a shiz ton of energy in there but I’m hoping that this adjustment and paying constant attention to extension and torso rotation will pay dividends. We shall see.