Never have I wanted to punch a person. I’ve tried to visualize frustrating faces during kickboxing, but that always feels, well, super weirdly uncomfortable.
What am I okay punching in the face?? Writing deadlines. Big time, knock-down-drag-out deadlines I want to punch past and move on from, but can’t. There are other deadlines or content issues that need time and attention. That’s fine–just the recursive-creative process. What’s not fine is when my professional frustration with writing projects affects my happy personal life.
I tried my first Title Boxing Club class with the fiance last Wednesday and it was everything I needed but never expected.
We registered in advance for the 60-minute boxing class with a nice trainer and MMA fighter named Mark. I wasn’t sure what the club would look like. Picture a large room with an evenly-spaced maze of heavy bags, a small ring in the front corner, some cubbies and a small weight room in the back corner. Every Title Boxing Club looks different, I’m sure, but this one matches the description my sister gave of her club back home in St. Louis, Missouri.
We got in. Got wrapped and “gloved” by the super nice front desk worker. The instructor, Mark, was given us some quick warnings to get ready, starting promptly on time, and before anyone of ready we were getting whipped into shape.
Push ups, burpees, high knees, repeat. The 15-minute warm-up bit was all HIIT training all the time. If you recall my patellofemoral pain syndrome post, you probably guessed that I wasn’t able to perform most of that comfortably, but my modifications weren’t too embarassing considering so many others in class were struggling to keep up. What was also neat was that in the last 15 minutes of planking and ab challenges, some of the regulars quietly moved to the side gym. I thought that was neat because they didn’t leave the class necessarily, but they were working on what was best for them. I’ve never seen that before and I’ve taken a lotttttttttt of classes.
What happened for the 30 minutes between the warm up and cool down? Everything. We could maybe say nothing, too, since a lot of the class members started waving white flags toward the end of the “rounds” that happened in that 30-minute period.
I don’t recall exactly how long the rounds lasted, but I think there were five rounds about five or six minutes each with some time to explain technique between rounds.
The first round was simple to start. A jab, a cross, a hook, a jab, repeat. The music was modern and motivating as the punch combinations became longer and more complicated. Those complications were challenging, but they also kept the routine interesting. I’m always interested in muscle memory and when our memory of a routine movement takes over, but that’s another blog post entirely.
In the middle of the 30 minutes of rounds, I found myself pounding into my writing. It wasn’t a time to create playful language or revise anything substantial. I just needed to hit something hard because I don’t feel like I can hit my prospectus as hard as I’d like to. Not right now anyway. The writing, editing, and revising drags on and on. It never seems to go away, and it hasn’t been as satisfying lately. I know this will change once my
advisor gives me the green light to submit my work to our committee, but right now I feel like I’m throwing punches at the wind. Getting nowhere fast.
And that’s okay. Part of the process is slowing down and learning to rest with my own frustrations. I know this well by now.
Would I recommend a Title Boxing Club class to most everyone?
Yes. Although some of the moves were trying on my knee, had I been in full fighting form I would have had a much easier time. If you’re new to exercising, start slow. The class can be pretty intense and I saw people burn out within 20 minutes of starting the class. Stick with it. Modify what you have to. Know you’re going to feel sore for a few days after but a lot stronger in the long run.
Would I recommend writing a dissertation to everyone?
Ask me in a year.
For more information about writing or if you need a writing coach, contact Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org.