Recently, my wife Ann signed me up for a trial run at a fitness place that I initially thought was a traditional gym, with weights, treadmills etc. I was wrong, but writing this now, I’m glad that I was. Here’s why:
To begin with, the people in charge, Kareem and Nina Blue, of the place that I went to, a place called The Blue Boy Boxing Club in Thomaston were very professional and welcome when I first arrived and introduced myself. They both made a point of introducing themselves and, after chatting for a few minutes, Kareem got me ready to go. First, he wrapped up each of my hands before putting a boxing glove on each of my hands. Then, we got started.
What followed was a boxing-themed workout that lasted nearly one hour… and was worth every second. He(Kareem)began by patiently showing me a double-ended striking bag while demonstrating how it is used. This funny-looking training tool is a speed-bag sized bag supported by a wire running from the top and the bottom of the bag. To me, this was the toughest thing for me to hit solidly because of its nearly constant, rapid movement from side to side.
The next thing we worked with was the speed bag. Kareem began by demonstrating how it is typically used by boxers and how to develop a rhythmic pattern to be successful with it. Now, Kareem explained to me that, after punching the bag, it should bounce against the concrete top that it’s hanging from three times before throwing another punch. Easy to say but, again, difficult for me to master initially. Over and over, I tried to master this trick coming close a few times, but never really mastering it. Even so, it was fun to try and I’m sure I’ll have many more chances to get better at it.
Next up was the heavy bag. Before we did anything here, Kareem showed me how to position my arms, the proper way to throw punches(hand should be horizontal when a punch is thrown because the glove will be wider) and how to breath properly while doing all these things.
After that, Kareem pulled out a couple of focus mitts- gloves that have padded targets on their palms- and got me going punching each of the gloves a few times. It was at this time that he told me a little about footwork and how boxers normally moved around. I did not do too much footwork, choosing instead to work on and better my punching skills.
Though I won’t ever be mistaken for Ali, I had a blast learning the basics and seeing what I could do with them.