So… boxing rocked! Last night the Snook, Albie, and I headed over to Boxing Works for their “Kick-Start Foundation” class. We’d all filled out the special $20/8 days offer on the website, so all we had to do when we got there was pay up and collect our gloves. “Whoa, this place smells like stinky feet!” I said when we got up to the workout room. I had no idea what was to come. Our teacher was this tiny little woman, and in fact, most of the class were women too. (The only other men were a gay couple.) We started with a few minutes skipping rope to warm up, which was pretty amusing. I haven’t jumped rope in years, but given that I spent every recess from Grades 2-5 perfecting my skills, it didn’t take long for it to come back. Even the Snook managed to get a little rhythm going, though none of us could go longer than about thirty seconds. Then we all faced the mirrors so the teacher could take us through our technical instruction: proper boxing stance, moving the feet and shoulders, throwing a straight punch, a hook, and an uppercut. Finally we got to put our gloves on and head to a bag. The stereo came on and the Snook and I – sharing the same bag – got down to some punchin’. Damn that’s a good workout! We were all using pretty good technique too, I have to say, mostly because Fearless Leader threatened us with ten push-ups if anyone dropped their non-punching hand from the guard position. Then it was time to kick. We all took off our gloves… and that’s when I made the mistake of smelling my hand. GOOD LORD, THAT WAS FOUL. Think of the nastiest, smelliest old tennis shoes you’ve ever smelled in your life, and then imagine wearing them on your hands while you punch and sweat for ten minutes. Then think of how your hands would smell afterwards. Plus you fall into this awful psychological conundrum of thinking, “Whew, that’s really bad! Wait, how bad was that smell again?” and then SMELLING THEM AGAIN AND AGAIN. (My co-worker Leanne had warned me of the dangers of puking, but she meant as a result of overexertion… not of smelling my own stinky hands.) Anyway, I finally managed to drag myself away from obsessively sniffing my rotten hands in order to learn how to do push kicks and roundhouses. Then, back to the bags. I screwed up at first by connecting my kicks up too high on my shins; it was KILLING. A nice chick nearby told me to connect lower and that helped. (I still think I’m gonna have bruises today.) Kicking was a lot more fun that I expected though. I can’t wait til I can go all Jean Claude VanDamme and knock somebody’s block off with my foot! Eventually the gloves came back on and we put it all together for an all-out barrage on the bags. I have to say, my right is pretty damn tough; I actually managed to scootch the bag (which was touching the floor) over towards the Snook. My left is my Kryptonite though; I’ve got about as much power with it as my cat does with hers. We finished up with some group stretching, which felt pretty nice. All three of us decided that we’re definitely going back next week, and that we’ll mostly likely buy a ten-visit pass and share it. I highly, highly recommend it… as long as you’ve got a strong stomach. (I’m going to try to find cotton under-gloves today.) Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wash my hands for the twenty-third time.