Last year I wrote tips about how to keep thin on Thanksgiving each day of the week. Don’t forget to go back and check them out!
Last week, I finally had my first real experience “fighting” in the ring. First let’s be clear. A fight is when your in the ring to win a sanctioned match. When you’re training it’s called sparring. Just a note 😉
Most of you know that I’ve been taking boxing training for almost a year. I box almost everyday and I never get tired of it! I’ve been toying with the idea of actually competing in the amateur tournament, Colorado Golden Gloves for most of that time. A few things were holding me back: I hadn’t had enough experience in the ring to know if I had what it takes and……the hubby wasn’t hot about the idea.
After nearly 6 months of training I felt like I had good enough skills and wanted to open up the idea of fighting. After Dan came to the gym a few times and watched me, he agreed that I could try fighting if I wanted to. My trainer, Jameson Bostic, agreed that I should start sparring (unsanctioned fights at the gym) more so I could get more experience. After a few successful spars at the gym, one of the other trainers approached me about sparring with his client. We set the spar for the next day.
Right away my trainer had no worries. He knew that if I could just do what I know, I would be successful. But that is a BIG if. Up until now, I had never fought 100% against another person. It’s rare to spar with someone of your ability and weight. To make it safe and fair, we usually have rules when we spar. Sometimes you can only use your left had, sometimes I’m told not to go 100%, sometimes you’re only on defense or offense, sometimes I don’t get hit at all. While I had several sparring sessions under my belt, I had never gone 100% against another girl with both hands.
I was nervous ALL DAY. It had been a long time since I had taken hits in the ring to the face or head. My partner, Brandi, had experience and about 20 pounds (?) on me. I knew she would hit and she would hit hard. Would I freeze? Would I cry? What would happen? Jameson knew I was nervous and sent me messages throughout the day. When I arrived at the gym, I was more excited than nervous. Today was the day. Today was the day I’d know if I wanted to get in the ring and compete. And it was…………FREAKING AWESOME.
Some people think boxing is just violence with rules. I used to not be able to watch boxing or MMA on TV because I thought it was violent and gross. My first time sparring another girl the whole time I thought, “Why is she trying to hurt me?” But now I can see the sport that is in boxing. When I’m in my corner, I’m not thinking about hurting the other person. I’m thinking about beating them at their own game. I’m thinking about when they throw that punch I’m going to be right there throwing back. I’m thinking about their rhythm and dominant side and how I’m going to throw them off. I’m not thinking about how much it’s going to hurt because it doesn’t.
During the round, my adrenaline is so high, I barely feel getting hit. I’m more focused on the timing and her errors. We fought three rounds. My coach and I were hoping to go longer but her coach called it. Meaning…….I kicked her ass. See below for a breakdown of the rounds.
It felt INCREDIBLE. To be clear, it’s not punching the other girl, making her bleed, or even injuring her that felt incredible. Beating her at her own game felt incredible. Being the faster, smarter and stronger fighter felt incredible. Knowing that all the work I’d put in, all the sweat and tears felt incredible. Seeing the look on my trainer’s face and knowing he was proud was incredible. Over coming my own insecurities of not being good enough was like flying to the moon. I lived off the high of winning my first real spar for a few days. There’s no feeling quite like proving yourself wrong or realizing you can do whatever you want to do. You’d think that I’d gotten used to breaking the odds or overcoming new goals, but thankfully it just gets better and better.
Round One: I spent WAY too much time trying to feel her out. I was trying to find her rhythm and I was on the defense. My trainer expected her to fight much differently so I spent some time trying to figure out their plan instead of destroying their plan.
Round Two: During round two I fought much better. I spent less time worrying about what she was going to do and put my plan in motion. There was even a moment in round 2 that she gave up and dropped her hands. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do so I stopped too! But I knew in round 2 I was going to ‘win’. Her punches weren’t strong enough and I was able to anticipate her throws quite a few times. After two right hands from me her mouth started to bleed.
Round Three: Brandi stopped about a minute into round three. She had hurt her shoulder and her coach didn’t want to continue.
Overall I’m really happy with how I fought. Watching back the video, I can see all sorts of things that I did wrong. I missed opportunities and always go to the left. But instead of beating myself up about the errors, I’m still holding my head high for getting in!