Thursday, February 02, 2006

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, bitches!

So instead of kicking out all the windows and setting fire to this life, I decided to take up a sport. Not just any sport – BOXING. I figured what better way to take out my aggression than by learning how to totally kick somebody’s ass! I mean, it's a great way to get in shape. And learn how to totally kick someone's ass. What?

I’ve been wanting to learn how to box for a long time, but my mom was always discouraging me because I have small, pretty hands and she didn’t want me to ruin them. Too bad. I want to box. Plus, duh, that’s what wrapping your hands AND wearing gloves is supposed to protect. I will be sad if I break my nose, but proud of getting a black eye. Just in case you were keeping score at home.

I did some research to find a class, and found one at a rec center by my house. I was wary, because in the past when I went to something like a kickboxing class, what it inevitably ended up being was an aerobics class MASQUERADING as a kickboxing class. That was not what I wanted. I don’t want a bunch of ladies kicking wildly at imaginary would-be-rapists while the cardio remix of some Britney Spears song is playing in the background.

So I show up the first night, pay the fee and go to the room where the class is. The first thing I notice is that the average age of the people in the class is like 12. Maybe they’re older, but they look tiny. And they’re all boys. I almost turned around and bailed but I sucked it up and stayed. The instructor comes over and talks to me and is like “here, I’ll show you how to wrap your hands.” Ok, this is a good sign. He’s a burly Mexican guy who works for the DEA and was a boxing champ back in the day. I am VERY relieved that he isn’t some soccer mom who loves scrapbooking and teaching aerobics in her spare time. He asks me if I’m any good with a jump rope. I say yes, because actually? I am awesome with a jump rope.
*Side note – the reason for my mad jump rope skillz is because in elementary school we had a jump rope team and I practiced ALL THE TIME because I really wanted to make the team. Geek, party of one? However, one girl on the team didn’t like me and so she kept me off. Can you believe it? This was in 5th grade, and I’ll tell you, she only got more bitchy with time. Anyway.*

After some jump roping, we ran laps and then came back to the room. In the meantime another chick my age showed up, and I was pretty happy about that. We ran through the basic punches and footwork, and then? We put on gloves. AWESOME. The rest of the class practiced on their own while I was paired up with one of the 12 year olds. There was another new kid, and he was paired up with a different guy. Anyway. My 12 year old was named Jose and he was this sweet little soft spoken kid in a wife beater and shorts who taught me the requisite footwork and did some punching combinations with me. He’d hold up his gloves and I’d punch him. At one point he’s like “punch harder” and I was thinking “I’m scared I’ll break you.” But I said ok and punched him harder. I did not break him.

Here’s the funny thing about boxing. It’s a LOT like dancing. Back in my choir days, I learned the staple of all choir choreography – the jazz square. And lo and behold, you do the jazz square in boxing too, only you do it while punching people. And it’s not called a jazz square. And the shoes are different and there’s no singing “Come on Get Happy.” So actually, the jazz square is kind of where the dancing similarities end.

After a while of the punching and the jazz square, the instructor came over to do some drills with me and the other new kid. So the instructor has these pads on his hands and he’s having us go through punching combinations and moving so we have to also integrate the footwork. As you may or may not know, in boxing you must keep your hands up AT ALL TIMES to guard your head and face. I forgot a couple of times, and so I got smacked in the head. AWESOME. This would never happen in the aerobic pseudo-boxing class! I also felt pretty good because the other new kid was this rather slow 11 year old. How sad am I because I’m happy about being more coordinated than the slow kid.

So ninety minutes after I walked into the class, I walked out with the marks left by the tight wrappings on my hands, the knowledge of how to do a 1-2 combination (which I remembered and successfully tried out on Joe yesterday as he was ALSO a former boxer -- I even threw in an extra punch and surprised him. Oh yeah.) and a sense of accomplishment. I also learned that the best place to learn how to fight is in a neighborhood where you BETTER know how to fight or you’ll be real sad. And it just so happens that this particular rec center is in the center of the ‘hood around what I like to call “Thug High School,” so I clearly picked the right place. I’m going again tonight, and after a lot more practice, I’ll have the fists to back up the attitude that comes with being a hot-tempered, mouthy Irish girl. And I will totally have your back. You’ll want me to, because frankly? I plan on being awesome.

28 comments:

The Other Half said...

that's so awesome!!!

Whinger said...

I am so amazingly proud of you for doing this.

And loved that there's a jazz square.

Hope said...

You already ARE awesome!

That sounds so fun. I tried kickboxing once. I didn't like having to get my leg up high. It was more like those pseudo-aerobics classes you're talking about.

Currently the boxing gloves are situated over my bed posts because my headboard is loose and it smacks against the wall. I think that's a pretty good use for them!

dasi said...

My brother had two pairs of boxing gloves when we were little. I’m pretty sure my dad considered it “survival of the fittest.” At 9 (he was 6) I would beat the crap out of him until he cried. That was fun, because I was a wimp in general. But then he started getting older and bigger and I decided boxing wasn’t that much fun anymore…

But you go, Amber Ali!! And like I told you – I have PLENTY of people out here you can practice on!!

Edge said...

Wow, chicks fighting, hot blooded irish girls, *shiver*, this is too much excitement for me!

Are you going to fight the 12 year olds?

This is just too interesting. I need more stories.

~Jef

Romeo Jensen said...

OMGaaawd amber that was your best ever post... I was laughing and picturing your cuteness gettin all "Mike Tyson up in haaaare"

geek party of 1... holy effin heck
so you jump rope huh... mad skillz babe

now... about these psydo kick boxing aerobics classes with all the hawties... where do I sign up

Girl Next Door said...

Have you actually hit someone in the face really hard?

GNDTX

Cheryl said...

Although I am sure that if you were to break into "Come On Get Happy" you would surprise your opponent and go for the KO. Diversionary tactics...

Sounds like you had fun!

Sass said...

That was funny to read, especially about the slow kid. You can also practice with shadow boxing although I don't reccomend trying to track that sucker down. He's pretty fast.

Okie said...

That was great. Really great. I'm so glad you're back.

Marie said...

Hey chickie. Thanks for your comment on my post today. :) I know you know what I mean and I appreciate your words.

Also, I'm so excited for you in that you're taking boxing! I took boxing for a few months when I was up in San Francisco. What a workout!! Wow. But I loved it. I think you will too. It's a great way to let off some steam, which I found came in handy. :)

The Husband said...

don't forget to have a drink in my honor on saturday to celebrate my bday.

toodles.

tinyhands said...

Finally a woman who loves REAL boxing. Just so you know, we're SO getting married.

beckibee said...

Awesome! Maybe you should make a mix CD of Rocky songs!

Alice said...

*shame* i totally do the aerobic kickboxing class at the gym.. and... *more shame*... i LIKE it. you have the right to beat my ass now that you are mad skillz-y with the real boxing. and then.. uh.. i'll drum. at you. yeah. so there.

Kiki said...

That's hilarious that you were fighting a twelve year old boy!! Hee hee!!

I would love to take a boxing class or a dancing class, but there is nothing offered around here. It sucks. :(

C. said...

Definately my kind of girl!! Love it Amber! can I be your sparing partner???? : )

C.

Scott said...

That is wicked... good for you!!

Here is a quote you can say if you ever step in the ring.

"15 referees. I want 15 referees to be at this fight because there ain't no one man who can keep up with the pace i'm gonna set except me. There's not a man alive who can whup me. I'm too fast. I'm too smart. I'm too pretty. I should be a postage stamp. That's the only way i'll ever get licked. "

m.ali

Scott

Sandra said...

I'm totally impressed. I prefer a nice safe elliptical machine. You're brave.

Mr. Fabulous said...

Very cool. Very very cool.

The Humanity Critic said...

For a person with a history of violence issues, boxing is an excellent sport to take up. Just don't knock any chicks out who give you any crap..lol

Karen said...

Oh, you are no geek party of one. Here's where you're jealous of me, but I did make the jump rope team in elementary school. If you think you have mad skillz. Although, I'm not so sure if it was my mad skillz with the jump rope or the fact that there were approximately 2-3 people that tried out for the team. I'm voting for mad skillz.

Miladysa said...

Loved this post! Fantastic :) I have just thrown a couple of punches at Sir H (he used to box too)and he looked at me as though he was just about to swat a fly so I stopped! May be I should have lessons too? :)

Anyway, 'Jump Rope' is that a skipping rope? What on earth is a 'wife beater'?

Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

you are an active woman
anyway come over for coffee stay for breakfast
ps do you also like to look at women?

Leesa said...

Two thoughts crossed my grey matter: (1) Oh, my. You are not a geek for boxing. It is so awesome.

(2) I am pretty sure the gloves are not meant to protect your hands but to prevent you from doing real damage (aside from the broken noses) on the opponent's face.

Wow, chicky, you are my hero. And watch out for those 12-year-old kids. They will try really hard to make sure they don't get their asses kicked by a girl!

Barry S. said...

Hot AND tough? Way to go! You will be a serious ass-kicking machine.

Kyahgirl said...

oh you girl!! I SO am proud to know you, seriously!

Timmortal said...

Nice!!!