Well it was fun while it lasted but I’ve decided to give up boxing. I‘ve previously posted about my boxing fitness class here, covering my mixed feelings.
I stopped going a while back, I had developed painful tendonitis in my right knee, left ankle and right wrist which had stopped me going for long walks in the countryside. I had tried ignoring it for ages but when it cut a long walk, short I recognised that I needed to actually deal with it. I stopped all my exercise classes, was very cautious in yoga and tried resting. (I am very resistant to trying any medication) Several months on I have cautiously restarted most of my exercise classes, started doing more gentle walking locally and tried to listen to my body, slow down as necessary etc.
However I recognised that in boxing there were no half measures. Once I get in the boxing zone I am not holding back, my whole enjoyment in the class was in going all out, not going cautiously and noticing if bits of me hurt.
My instructor has put a fair amount of pressure on me to return and it has made me reflect on the should or shouldn’t of the class.
Firstly, my enjoyment of the class was not about getting fit, getting aerobic exercise, I actually don’t enjoy all that, I just think of it as a good thing which is the right thing to do. No, my enjoyment of the class was about FIGHTING.
My instructor had talked about the value of learning boxing as “learning to control aggression”. Now I completely get that. If I was a young guy in his 20’s with anger issues, getting into fights, this would be a good place to channel that. But as an older woman who has never been in a proper fight in her life, what these fitness classes were doing was UNLEASHING aggression!
Some of the others in the class (all male interestingly) recognised that. They had commented on and made slightly nervous jokes about me fighting like a crazy thing. As I walked down to the class I would start to feel the adrenaline flow and my secret desire was to be paired up with biggest, most self satisfied of the males there and try and take him on! (I’d better just say that I like most people in my classes, there are just the odd one or two who get my back up). I was however, usually paired with women which wasn’t nearly so much fun and it would take much longer to get the adrenaline buzz I was looking forward to, to kick in.
Another secret fantasy I had was to go down the pub on a Friday night and take some big, arrogant bully out! Now I do recognise how foolish these fantasies were. I do not want to get injured, I am physically not that fit, strong or powerful to actually do well in a fight. My piano and cello playing are really important, I want to focus on them and not injure my hands in any way. Nor do I want to get punched in the head!
It has been a very interesting experience. Aggression in women is not something recognised, approved of or admired in any way in my social circle / upbringing/ environment. So I am very surprised to discover it in myself, latently lurking below the surface. I don’t feel that it is out of control or needing channeling, more that it is there, if required. I have always regretfully felt that in a difficult life situation, say a zombie apocalypse, I would be a very useless protagonist. Now I feel differently. I would get into training and be a secret weapon for the good guys, a little, old(er) lady who is also a scary, crazy fighter! I’ll say no more on this but just leave you with an image of Michonne from The Walking Dead juxtaposed next to me (on my way to my cello lesson), an uncanny mirror image in my opinion!