A girl’s perspective
Written by Alexandra Ryan
I’ll admit it…I jumped on the kickboxing bandwagon in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. I like Billy Blanks. I own a few Tae Bo DVD’s (and a few vhs tapes too) and will bust them out once or twice a year when it’s too cold to run outside and/or I am sick of all other forms of exercise. So, when I heard about Peter Welch’s boxing classes, I was intrigued and intimidated. I get a little nervous about being the new girl at an exercise class. Here is a snapshot of my inner monologue:
‘What if it is all guys?’ ‘What if no one will be my partner’ What if I trip and fall on my face and people laugh at me ‘I don’t have boxing gloves’…should I go out and buy some?’ ‘I’ve never really boxed before’ I don’t think Billy Blanks counts as real boxing….or does it?’ Maybe I’ll go next week…I’m tired’ ‘My foot hurts.’ ‘I’m hungry.’
After a few days of the back and forth, I told the crazy inside of my head to shove it and forced myself to go to a boxing class. I’m so glad I did…I’m hooked.
Here is a re-cap of my experience.
- 8:35am Drive to Peter Welch’s gym…feel like I am lost…but then I see the small shamrock sign ‘Peter Welch’s Gym.’ Feel better about my sense of direction (grateful for GPS on iphone).
- 8:40am Park car. Secluded parking lot and exterior has 1980’s appeal. It’s different from other gyms in Boston…I like it.
- 8:41am Sit in car…don’t want to be too early. Check Facebook news feed and stalk people. Nervous about boxing class.?
- 8:45am Step out of car, deep breath, still nervous, walk into gym
- 8:46am Say hello to the nice (attractive) guy at the front desk and tell him that I am new. He hands me a form to complete and I hand him my license. He laughs and says, ‘I believe you are who you say you are.’ I laugh (nervously) and step to the side to complete said form.
- 8:48am Form completed. First class is free. $5.00 for rental gloves. I brought my own (borrowed, bright red, too big, boxing gloves)
- 8:49am Look around. The gym is in a large open space. There is a red boxing ring in the center of the gym and punching bags line the back and left walls. The right side is a large mirrored wall (oh great). An equal mix of men and women are warming up…all different shapes and sizes….makes me feel more comfie. I can do this.
- 8:55am Pretend to stretch but really keep people watching…. some jumping rope (haven’t done that since I was 10), some shadow boxing, some talking, everyone seems friendly, and there are few guys in the red ring…they must be pros.
- 9:00am Instructor begins warm up…it’s the guy from the front desk (now more attractive). Jumping rope…like riding a bike…after 3 minutes calves feel like they are burning off. Shadow boxing starts.. catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and feel stupid but Ii press on.
- 9:05am Instructor yells ‘Water. Glove up. Find a partner’ Go to bubbler…drink water. Put on gloves. Hope to find partner. See girl standing by punching bag…she looks nice….I introduce myself…we become fast friends.
- 9:10 – 9:55am Instructor demonstrates next exercises….one two one two, sprawl, one two one two, three two one two, sprawl, punch out, sprawl. Nod. look at partner. Laugh. Ask her to go first. Watch. My turn. Instructor yells out commands and we go through multiple rounds of punching, jumping on the ground, getting back up (sprawling) punching hard, ducking, moving, ducking, punching. Strong urge to rip mic off of instructors face if he says sprawl one more time.
- 9:55am Exhausted. Muscles hurt. Sweating. Cool down begins…sit ups, lunges, squats, and chair postures…
- 10:00am Class ends. Bubbler.
- 10:05am Slowly regain feeling in arms and legs. Feel really good. One of the best workouts of my life. Thank instructor….and say bye to my new friend.
- 10:10am Make sharp right turn into Doughboys drive through. Order ham egg and cheese on an English muffin (I deserve this). By far, one of the best breakfast sandwiches I have had in my life. Unbelievable.
Next morning: I have never been so sore in my life, but I will definitely go back for more boxing classes at Peter Welch’s gym. It’s not just for the boys. Don’t be scuurrrrred…push yourself and try it!
Featured in photo: Nick Nelson – Instructor, Manager and total hottie.
Photography by Deb McCarthy