25 April 2009

Saturday 'bakbakan'

Tried out my new boxing gym this afternoon. Got home this Saturday morning at 2:30 am after a videoke and drinking spree with officemates, so I needed to get a lot of sleep first and remove the vodka from my system before boxing.

When I entered the gym, I saw that I was the only girl inside. All the other people working out were guys. I felt somewhat mortified. But I had to force all anxious thoughts to the back of my mind as I went through my warm-ups. I wasn't a newbie at boxing anyway, so I knew I'd be able to hold my own in front of all these men.

The moment my new trainer, Ryan, finished doing my hand wraps and placed my gloves on, he said briskly in Filipino, "Okay, let's see your punch." Then he raised his boxing mitt and shouted: "Jab!"

I like jabs, and I happen to do really well in jabs, so I gave my personal best. Ryan's eyebrows shot up and I could tell he was re-assessing my seemingly frail frame. "Good. Very good," he said approvingly. Then we proceeded with the usual boxing routine.

I noticed that he liked making me do double jabs and several hook-straight-jabs in succession which are easy-peasy and basic. So I relaxed a bit and enjoyed myself in this first round with my new boxing trainer. He was grinning appreciatively as I threw punches as hard as I could, and I laughed at his facial expression (in between punches, of course).

I was worried about adjusting to a new trainer after Kuya Mong, and I was hoping that I'd get along well with the new guy. Otherwise, boxing would be poor fun, right? At least Ryan and I hit it off right away, which is important.

So that I could have a "breather", he made me work on the punching bag for awhile while he attended to another guy. And when he went back, he said, "Okay, magbakbakan na tayo! Punch your hardest. Easy round yung kanina!"


I knew it. I knew he'd give me a harder time once he had assessed my capabilities. I said, 'Um, wag masyadong 'bakbakan', ha. I'm running pa tomorrow." (I told him earlier that I run 5ks and 10ks to keep fit. And weird enough, he said he was surprised I could run those distances. Maybe I've been running long enough to consider 5km as standard and 10km an achievable distance, but others still think these are long distances, when they're actually not that long. I hope I reach the point when 15km is ordinary and attainable for me already.)

Anyway. Ryan seemed to think my training run tomorrow was a poor excuse to keep me from overexerting myself in today's session. He put me in the ring and said, "If you can run 10k, you can give me 2 minutes of sparring. Now!"

Oh God.

It was light sparring (with me doing more of the punching and Ryan bobbing and weaving here and there), but because I don't box to compete, I was deathly afraid I'd be injuring my knuckles or other parts of my body. I think that Ryan was again checking out my boxing form and the quality of my punches to see the areas I should be improving on, so I tried my best even if I felt like dropping my fists down to my sides.

The agony should have been over after two minutes, but when the bell sounded, my trainer had more in store for me. He held up both boxing mitts and said, "Punch as many and as fast as you can. In 1 minute. Go!"

Wtf. Continuous jab-straight-jab-straights weren't my favorite because that particular exercise always made me feel a little silly, with me punching away frantically and looking like some demented nursery toy. But because my trainer said so...

Sweat was trickling down my face (esp. down the bridge of my nose) as I punched for, like, forever. And to get me all riled up and continue punching, Ryan was shouting, "C'mon, 10k girl, lakasan mo yung punch mo!" He looked completely possessed.

"I don't...do...10ks...all the time...!" I gasped in between punches. This guy was probably thinking kinakareer ko ang 10k, when in reality, I consider myself lucky to be standing after every 10km race.

Somewhere in the 40 to 45-second mark, I was plaintively yelling out, "Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrgghh! Ayoko na!" And Ryan, all energized and aglow with the rosy flush of his darned youth, was bellowing, "Anong 'ayoko na'?? Tapusin mo 'to!!"

He sounded so angry, I could have gone down on the floor and do 50 push-ups if he had ordered me to do so. So, obviously, I didn't want to cross him at that point. And like a true boxing trainer, Ryan had a self-satisfied smile on his face as I threw my last punch with a pained grunt when the one minute was up. I had followed his instructions to a T.

Yup, I can tell Ryan and I are going to get along. Seriously.

When the main boxing session was over and he told me to do 250 ab crunches, I didn't even blink an eye. What's it with trainers and their ability to hypnotize people into following each and every instruction?

My painful efforts were finally rewarded when I did my cool-downs and Ryan gave me a quick sports massage. Aaahh.

Will box again this Monday. So far, this new phase in my boxing is turning out well. I just hope I can keep up with my new trainer.


Good thing my new gym is just a walk away from my office. In the event I can't run because of the rain, I can always resort to an indoor boxing workout.

Talk about a real damper. The rain we've encountered these past few summer days is ludicrous. It's the kind of rainfall one encounters in June or July. We've screwed up Mother Earth so much that we're getting heavy rainfall in the summer.

I was able to run 5.5km last Tuesday but it was drizzling at that time. I was actually thankful that I could run in the light rain, because on the days before that, it was quite impossible to run outdoors. Thursday saw heavy rain (chubby rain!), so I had to shelve the idea of running again. I was dead tired anyway that night and slept early, so I didn't really mind skipping a run.

Tonight, I went out to get coffee and looked up despairingly. It was raining again. Here's hoping tomorrow's skies will be clear. Must run at least 6.4km.


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