Since the Greeks first started chucking spears, lobbing heavy metal balls, and trying to jump further and higher than that other guy, the world has admired great athletes. Athleticism is the ultimate form of self-mastery. The ultimate example of mind over matter. For centuries humans have conditioned, toned, bled, and pushed their bodies to accomplish feats of extraordinary measure - in some cases - almost reaching into the superhuman. From yoga, biking, and snowboarding to team sports like volleyball, football, and the occasional round of cricket (by jove!), humans have chosen to truly put these magnificent bodies we've been bestowed with to the ultimate test - the ultimate endurance - the ultimate measure of mind over matter - through any imaginable form of athleticism that can be squished into a two story building and laden with crude machines bearing weights of mass-destruction! We've all taken it upon ourselves at some point to push our bodies further than even our bodies say we can go. Mind over matter. The ends justify the means.
How else could anyone VOLUNTARILY run 26.3 miles in a handful of hours? How ELSE could anyone cultivate a desire to climb the highest peaks in the world or play a game of basketball in the park so hard you're soaked through as if you've just gone swimming or pushed yourself so far you've vomited all over the gym treadmill again because you just wanted to push it a tiiiiny bit further. How else, I ask you!! Athleticism starts in the mind, young padawan. That's where the true endurance lies.The force is strong with you.
Likewise, now that I'm thinking about it, lets talk about how America, who produces some of the worlds most talented athletes, ALSO is one of the (if not THE) most obese nations in the world. Very strange bedfellows indeed, right?
But I'm not here to talk about how America is a cease-pool of gluttony and fast-food addictions (even though we are!). And I'm not here to tell you that childhood obesity has nearly QUADRUPLED in the last 10 years (which it has!). And I'm also not here to tell you that this generation of youngsters (under age 12) are predicted to be the first generation to NOT outlive their parents because they suck on a butter-stick for a pre-afternoon snack (even thought it's TRUE!). Naw, I'm here to talk about another sort of masochism. As positive sort of masochism. The masochism that is:
Boxing Is For Girls.
Listen. I've played sports my entire life. From running around like a tow-headed orphan child in the streets of Smalltown, Utah to dance teams, basketball teams (short-lived... pun NOT intended thanks), volleyball, softball, ultimate frisbee, flag-football, mountain biking, hiking, swimming (ish), kick-boxing, snow-shoeing, running, running, running, and most recently, yoga, you could say I'm familiar with the sort of pain that comes with the satisfaction of participating in physical activity. And my mamma didn't raise no wuss puss neither. I can handle pain. I believe participating in sports allows athletes to not only respect their bodies by utilizing them, but to strengthen the psychological threshold of pain, sweat, and tears that comes with playing any sports if you're playing them well. I've had sprained ankles, bruises the size of cantaloupes (softball... that one hurt), cracked bones, stitches, bump and scraps, scabs, eaten dirt, bloodied lips, and the occasional volleyball to the face. The first time I went snowboarding - Lord love a duck - did I want to DIE the next day. I tell you, I've not felt intense muscle pain like that ever! So what I'm saying is, I can take it. I can take it real good. Well, that is until last week.
Last Tuesday, a couple of friends and I went to Boxing is for Girls located in Sugarhouse (1100 East 1983 South). I'd done some kickboxing before (just for cardio - not for arse-whoppin) and boxing itself has always intrigued me. To me, boxing was the ultimate full body tough-guy (erp... girl) sport, and I wanted to DO IT! So, I did it. And it was intense. Incredibly intense. Now I've given you my repertoire of sports ability and proven that I can hack it. I'm clearly a sports participator and I've pushed myself pretty hard at times to the point of nearly vomiting all over the field/floor/carpet etc. A healthy sense of competition will do that to ya. I've played hard enough that the next day I walk like a stiff-legged Zombie including the groan and glazed eyes. But this, this I've never felt before. The ensuing two days AFTER my first BIFG experience, I succumbed to something I had never succumbed to before in my athletic life - I took some Tylenol for the pain. Like Randy in a Christmas Story, I couldn't put my arms down... or up... or sideways... or any other ways arms should rightly move. After a day of staggering around work, I got home and examined the most tender areas and found that the underneath/rib areas of my arms was nice and swollen. All puffed out and tender. Swollen! I've never had such a physical manifestation of intense muscle break down ever. Ever.
I went again on Saturday! Cause I'm a crazy person!! And because I'd bought a 20 session pass (not cheap). That's right! Though this time, I'd learned my lesson and learned it good. I warmed up, stretched and stretched, worked out hard, and then proceeded to stretch and stretch, drink protein, water, water, water, and Gatorade the rest of the day. I thought I nipped most of the soreness I expected to manifest itself the next day in the BUD.
Well turns out.
Bud not entirely nipped. You can tell very quickly where you've stretched good enough and where you have NOT. Today, though my arms are actually feeling pretty good and my abs just have the normal slight soreness that comes with intense workouts, my quads are killing me. No really. I almost fell face first down my apartment steps because I was walking like Frankenstein's Bride... groans and all. Every time I had to think of rising out of a chair or church bench (Sunday) I braced myself for the creaking and burning that would be my thighs. And oh it burned. Burned like the fiery furnace of hell burns. Little demon spawns were having "jump like a demon spawn day" in my muscles. Little beasts.
So that said, it hurt, it still hurts, and because I have incredible mental powers and a desire to look all sorts of Baywatch in my swimsuit this year (there's the true mind over matter motivation - all comes back to stereotypical body image propaganda - durg), I will of COURSE be going back on Tuesday. And THIS time, I will be even better equipped to push my body through another fantastic work out. Only athletes (and crazies, and masochists) would suffer such pain and go back for more. Go back for more because as athletes, you're not going to let your body beat you. No pain, no gain, right? So I'm going back. I'm carrying on the tradition of the ancient Greeks and giving my physical body the respect it deserves, but also demanding it to push further than its telling me it can. And boy is it screaming loud and clear today; but it will pass and Tuesday will come and my body and I will do it again. Boo. Ya.
Watch a little something something here from Boxing is for Girls. You think Jillian Michaels is badass? You've not met Eliza.
(sidenote - I googled "boxing girls" so I could supplement this post with a kick-arse boxing girl... yeah... don't do that... my innocence was lost. Turns out "boxing girls" is just another way to say boobs... or porn... or boobs and porn)