“Are you ready?” My trainer asked. I thought about getting flip but decided not to
“I’m here to learn.”
“You bring the five hundred dollars?”
I nodded and handed him the cash. Boxing fitness training wasn’t cheap if you wanted to be serious now. Boxing fitness training would toughen you up, boxing fitness training would make you a lean mean fighting machine. Boxing fitness training apparently started by cleaning out your wallet, lesson number one, pain sucks. The guy eyed me up and down like he was getting ready to assault me.
“We gotta’ bulk you up.”
“I’ll do whatever it takes.”
“Arright kid, first things first. You gotta’ loosen up. Start with a hundred jumping jacks. So we did. First jumping jacks and then the bag, which was cool until my arms got tired and then the speed bag which sucked because the way I did it had nothing to do with speed but more to do with missing.
“Terry, come here and show this kid how to use the bag.” Terry appeared and proceeded to pummel the bag with seemingly little effort, nevr missing a beat. “See that Don, perfect form, hands hit the bag in rythym when he comes around and around. All shoulders and fist. Now you try.”
I did again and it was awkward. I’d jam my hands back, miss the bag, hesitate, hit my head, I kept trying and trying. It’s not as easy as it looks.
They showed me how to hit the bag with one hand over and over again until it got a bit easier, and then I tried two and was right back where I started. This stuff was getting lame. I didn’t come here to jump around and do push-ups and hit some small fleeting bag. I came here to beat something up, to learn how to beat things up, and to get into shape. Boxing for fitness was as boring as the stupid stair master so far. I began to show my frustrations. BOOM, I hit the bag hard and my trainer smiled
“I want to get in the ring.” I admitted.
My trainer smiled and then sighed. “You’re not ready. You can’t even handle the speed bag.”
“I just want to spar.” I replied. “That’s what I paid for.”
He shrugged and motioned me into the ring. Terry silently followed. We secured our gloves and my trainer gave me a few tips about keeping my head down and my gloves up and told me not to go too hard.
“Just be easy, kid, and I won’t hurt you.” Terry said. That got under my skin. I wasn’t a total putz. We put our mouthpieces in and started doing the dance. I was focusing on my footwork and Terry started jabbing. It stung, and made me angry. He was holding his hands down a bit so I went for the kill, threw a stiff right, and landed it squarely on Terry’s jaw. Unfortunately, it did not seem to faze Terry too much. There it was. I saw the first two shots coming, but don’t remember a whole bunch after that. It didn’t really hurt that much either, until I woke up. BAM—BAM—BAM… is all I remember, then:
When I came to I looked up and they were hunched over me.
“Gotta’ tuck the chin kid, and kep those gloves up, but if I were you I’d stick with the bag for now, because it doesn’t fight back.”