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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Highly Recommend: Boxing for Stress Relief

Writing Update:  None. 

I was telling someone the other day that I'm mostly upset that I'm not upset about not writing.  Truly, right now, writing is dead for me.  I don't miss the labor, the work, the toil.  It's like when you have surgery to deaden a nerve--you don't feel much of anything although occasionally you feel a twinge of something that might be ghost pain.  Those story ideas are still there at the back of my mind, and occasionally I'll read a blog post or an article on writing and something will attempt to spark in my brain, but it quickly dies, almost before I realize the thought occurred. 

And even if the desire to write came back tomorrow, I honestly don't know how I would fit it into my life.  I think it all goes back to my biggest character flaw.  I'm an all or nothing personality.  If I can't give 300% to something, then I don't want to do it at all.   That's why I haven't taken up banjo, resist most urges to draw, haven't begun to paint, and why health & fitness is presently consuming my life when I'm not at work. 

Fitness & Health Update:

Just completed my first week of boxing class--three classes spread out over the week.  Two of the three were really good.  The third class, yesterday, was a bit of a disappointment because there wasn't enough bag time.  It was mostly a calisthenics class.  I can do that at home, thanks.

In terms of stress relief, you can't beat the benefits of boxing.  Two times a week I go immediately after work for class.  This is the PERFECT set up.  After all, the day job is responsible for the majority of my stress, so it makes the most sense to go boxing immediately afterward.

If you've never gone to a boxing class, they have rows of heavy bags suspended and you begin with warmup and stretching exercises--so you get a lot of cardio in that hour class too.  About 10 minutes of warmup exercises (jumping jacks, etc.) 10 minutes of shadow boxing with handwraps only (ok but I get a little impatient during this phase--I find "boxing brain" doesn't kick in till I put on the gloves.) Then you finally put on the gloves and go at it. Then afterwards a cool-down with stretches, sit ups, etc.

From my experience this week, when you have a good class instructor, by the time you're done on that bag you learn new meaning to the old phrase "I feel like I went a few rounds".  If the instructor has kept up a good intensity level and given you solid bag time, your upper body is tired in a good way and when you take your gloves off at the end of class, the proof is in your sweat soaked hands and hand wraps.  If you didn't work up a good sweat in there, you didn't get a good boxing session.

The only question mark for me is learning to pace myself and educating myself about potential boxing injuries.  The gloves offer a lot of protection, and the 180" handwraps a lot of protection beneath that.  But I'm sure there are repetitive use injuries that must be common to this type of work that I'll need to watch out for.  And I definitely want to take care to avoid injury because boxing is only one component of my fitness plan.

Fitness program is going great.  I'm working with someone to help me tweak my weight training sessions--prior to boxing I was doing two weight training workouts a week on my own that were each taking about 90 minutes to complete 3 sets.  That's too much for me with all the exercise I have going on.

So we're working on tweaking it down to where weight training is only about 30-45 minutes at a time, which works much better with my schedule.  But weight training has been the absolute key to my making so much progress this last six months.  I may reduce the amount of time I spend weight training, but I'll never willingly give it up.  It's far too valuable (and too much fun) to stop.

But if you've got stress--GO BOXING!  You'll love it!


1 comment:

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