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October 14, 2013

It’s that time of the year again.

When I get a little restless and the shed looks too empty. I’ve hung up my rugby boots, packed away my football shin guards, and my road bike is collecting dust in the corner.

It’s time to try out a new sport!

I feel a little intimidated as I walk into the gym. A couple of overly-muscled guys are pounding away at the punching bags, boom boom! boom boom! boom boom boom! The punching bags themselves look like three of me could fit in each.

But I scan the room a bit more and see that there are heaps of girls around too. Normal looking girls without broken noses or black eyes. Whew! I sign up, skimming over the waiver form…injuries, death…and hand my money over. I walk over to the girls waiting for the class to start and set my bag down.

“Is this your first time here?”

A friendly girl already! What a welcoming gym! I am pleased I paid for two weeks of classes in advance.

“Yep!” I beam at her. “Gotta say, I wasn’t expecting so many girls at boxing. I’m so relieved!”

“Oh. This is Ladies Kick Fitness.” She points to the back of the gym. “Boxing is over there.”

I look across. To a group of tattooed, muscular guys with shaven heads strapping on their wrappy hand thingies, rolling their necks and doing general getting-ready-to-beat-someone’s-face-in warm-up exercises. Even the couple of girls I can see there look kinda scary, already smacking their gloves together.

I look back to Kick Fitness, full of ponytails and giggles and unicorn sprinkles. I waver for a moment, but then gather my courage and move on to the Boxing section.

Oh hooray! Another hesitant-looking girl! I missed her earlier because she was hanging back, equally unsure about the whole boxing lark. I immediately attach myself to her side.

She is a godsend. We do half the number of sit-ups/push-ups as the rest of the class and giggle through learning punch combos. She talks about being used to Zumba and doesn’t try to bop me in the face. She tells me that I must be super fit because I’m not even drinking water during the breaks. I preen and don’t say that it’s because my hands are trembling from exhaustion so badly that I would just splash the water everywhere but into my mouth.

I make her promise to be my boxing partner. “Promise!” I grab her shoulders. “Promise!”

“Ok, ok!” She hurriedly agrees, partly because she’s excited to have me as a boxing partner as well, and mostly because my face is so close to hers. If she didn’t have the wrappy hand thingies on, I would make her do a pinky promise too.

Let’s see how long this phase lasts!

Ready for a spot in the shed

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