My first experience with boxing was in a fitness boxing class offered by my high school during my senior year. A friend of mine found out about it, and wanted me to try it with her. Why not? Boxing sounded cool. The two of us signed up, and we both loved that class. We looked forward to it every week because it was a fantastic, fun workout. There was no contact and we didn’t use any heavy bags, either. All we did was work pads with partners and work up a sweat. My friend and I had a blast pushing each other hard and encouraging each other to keep going.
Leaving high school meant leaving that class. When I got to college, I looked through the sports section of the course catalog and found that my school didn’t offer any boxing classes, which was unfortunate. I made other selections and went on with my life.
I kept boxing in the back of my mind, but it came to the forefront again as my time at college was coming to a close. What would I do to stay active when I graduated and didn’t have free access to my school’s sports facilities? Remembering the high school class that I took, I decided that boxing would become my new physical activity. I was also hoping that this could help me make new friends, as most of my college friends would scatter after graduation.
Since transitioning out of college seemed overwhelming, I decided to take it one step at a time:
- Find a job.
- Find an apartment.
- Settle into the apartment and the job.
- Find a place to box.
I finally found the job in June 2011 and the apartment in July. I took several months to settle into both, and then I began my boxing gym search. It was a short hunt. I already knew about Decatur Boxing Club because of an internet search, but I wanted to make sure that it was a good fit for me. I contacted the women’s trainer (Terri Moss), who set me up with a free trial class in December. I took a class and I loved it. I could already tell that I’d found a great place full of great people.
Early in January 2012, I began taking DBC’s boxing fitness class. I was blown away by how fun and tough the workouts were. Everyone I met was friendly and made me feel welcome in the gym. I worked out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and attended the techniques class that was offered on Tuesdays.
The Tuesday night techniques class soon became my favorite time of the week. I was interested in the details of boxing, and I loved doing drills with partners. Not quite sparring yet, but still making some contact. Terri told me that Tuesday nights were like advanced training classes, and that’s how I knew that I wanted to move up. Boxing for fitness wasn’t enough for me!
So after a month of boxing fitness, I started taking advanced training. I was still allowed to attend the fitness classes, so I just added 3 hours of boxing to my week: 5 days a week for 1-2 hours a day. I couldn’t get enough time in the gym, and I rarely missed a workout. (Only once in the first three months, when I ran the Run For Your Lives 5k. That was a blast!) I thoroughly enjoyed myself whenever I set foot in the gym, and often stayed later than intended.
When I first began light sparring with other beginners, I was thrilled. Who knew boxing was so fun? I had never punched anyone before, or been punched. I had never had to defend myself or try to attack anyone. Turns out, I love both sides of the game. I love going after opportunities to land a punch, and I love trying to defend myself against incoming shots. Yes, trying to defend myself. (Look for an upcoming post about getting hit in the face a lot.)
Terri jokingly told people from the beginning of my time at DBC that I would be in the next Fight Night show. It wasn’t until about a month and a half later that I decided to go for it and audition for Atlanta Corporate Fight Night 5. I wanted to box as much as possible, and this was one way to add more boxing to my life. So, with a high school class plus three months of more intense experience behind me, I began my ten-week training for Fight Night 5.