My Fitness Journey
October 8, 2018
At the ripe old age of three I put on my first pair of ballet shoes and (can only imagine) I had a Dorothy moment – I clicked my heels three times and my life was transformed forever. Ballet was my first love. I did it religiously in high school; 6 days a week, performances every season, and many a toenail was lost from my pointe shoes. I couldn’t get enough of it! Touching the barre brought both a sense of inner peace and an unquenched desire for more!
In university, I took ballet as a filler credit class my senior year. Within two weeks of class starting, I landed a jump wrong and, unfortunately, tore my left ACL and meniscus. Surgery was inevitable and my knee was never the same again… As a 21 year-old living the fast life (har har – I am the biggest grandma you’ll meet), I didn’t rehab my knee properly. I persisted, however, for many more years – still loving the practice but accepting that my experience would never be the same.
Fast forward to last year (2017) when a friend invited me to attend a boxing class with her being held in a park in Santa Monica. I’d been intrigued by boxing but really didn’t know much about the sport. All I knew, was that I could never see myself stepping into a ring to fight. Knowing the class was strictly mitt work with HIIT circuit training, I was fully on board and excited to try something new!
Boy oh boy, did I underestimate how much I was going to fall in love with boxing…
I started training with great coaches in that same park through the winter and then switched to a gym called Box ‘N Burn that was founded by Olympian, Tony Jeffries. The class structure was roughly the same (HIIT circuit training with mitt work in the ring) but I got to attend the class with a bigger group and a more diverse set of instructors than before. I’m pictured here with my favourite trainer, Tadd Fulton, who was one of my first ever trainers! He has fought in the ring, won many titles, and is by far the best mitt holder I’ve worked with. The combinations he throws my way are like that of no other trainer and he has pushed my limits beyond even my own beliefs!
The camaraderie in a class like Box ‘N Burn is motivating in and of itself. I’ve always been a group/class workout lover (probably from my time at ballet) and (sadistically) thrive off of a teacher yelling at me to push myself. I’m incapable of motivating myself when working out alone, so that accountability is important for me to accomplish my fitness goals.
I mentioned in this post here, that I relied on boxing to help get me in shape for my wedding. Truthfully I can say that I’ve never felt fitter nor stronger in my life. Whilst ballet is, without a doubt, an incredibly tough sport (yes, sport), it worked different muscles and kept me lean. Boxing has toned muscle groups I never knew I had and has (above all) given me confidence I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d find within myself.
I believe in doing a workout you can have fun with. Motivation comes much easier and it allows you to persist through tough classes while the sweat pours off your body. Did I mention that I LOVE sweating during my workouts? And it’s a good thing too, because I’m usually soaked from head to toe when I leave each class!
Much like ballet, boxing challenges your mind. Learning combinations in just a few minutes or practicing to take directions that are given to you in a fraction of a second keep you very much on your toes! I get frustrated with myself if I cannot get a combination down or if I feel myself not reacting quickly enough. I thrive off of a challenge! New combinations keep my head sharp and constantly push my body in new ways. Recording myself over the past year has been a true testament to dedication and practice. I’m leaps and bounds from when I first started and I’ve got plenty of room to improve. I use that as motivation when I enter each class.
Boxing has not only helped my physical wellbeing, but it has helped me tremendously with my mental health. Working from home can be very lonely. Yes, there are lots of perks (like working in my pjs or chipping away at a growing laundry pile while I take calls), but an overlooked side effect is the loneliness that is brought on from very little face-to-face interaction. I look forward to my boxing classes every night at 8pm – I get to see familiar faces, get the endorphins flowing, and MOVE!
Photos by Mo Summers
My close friends and family have heard me refer to boxing as an addiction. As I write this post, I’m getting over a cold – which means I had to miss my boxing class tonight. Most people would probably love the excuse for a day off (I use my weekends for breaks!) but not me – I’m down in the dumps that my workout routine is off for the week! THAT’S how much I love boxing and THAT’S why I’d encourage everyone to give boxing a shot – you will be hooked from your first class. Simply Saffy money-back guarantee 😉
P.S. If you’ve made it this far – kudos. Fun fact about me: One of my nicknames is Klutzmantha (klutz + Samantha) as I truly am a Calamity Jane. Boxing has improved my reflexes like you cannot believe! Now when I drop things, I’m actually able to catch them in record time before they hit the ground! So, if you’re clumsy like me, this is definitely a positive side effect! 😛