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When I think of boxing, I imagine the middle of a ring, one light shining down from the center onto the mat. I think of the blackened eyes, the bloody noses and the shiny red gloves. I think of the boxers, shuffling around the ring, their hands up ready for combat, ready to defend.

I have never participated in such a rigorous contact sport before, unless you count co-ed youth basketball, where the refs used to let us beat up on each other. I have never trained as intensely as a boxer: running, jumping rope, punching bags, completing relentless drills all to prepare myself physically and mentally for competition. My experience training for sports has always been more about developing a skill rather than developing my body – throwing a ball, making contact with a bat, shooting a free throw. This was one of the reasons I decided to try out the boxing class offered at Healthworks. I wanted to test my body and train it solely for the sake of defending itself. Read the rest of this entry »