Thursday, March 24, 2011

Boxing Moustaches

Hello Chaps,

I am still here. I'm just so exhausted most of the time. Not the sort of malady that falls on one when they black dog visits but a fitness mid-life crisis.

I'm not exactly sure it is a mid-life crisis but I am well, 30 and suddenly I've signed up to a load of new things. I box now.

Proper boxing in an East London gym, I'm new to it so mostly I spend evenings being punched in the face by people with tattoos.

It's hard to explain the pleasure of it, I suppose it's something to do with being told your entire life not to punch someone and then finally being told to punch someone as hard as you can.

There are rules of course and some of my fellow boxists don't entirely follow them. There is a chap called Joel who is Italian and seemingly doesn't understand that the face isn't part of the torso. When you spar with him, and the trainer - called Bill of course - says body hits only Joel still goes for the face.

So after he has smacked you in the chops you have to stop and say 'No look Joel, I know this is a fight but no punchy the face, capiche?'

The fight resumes, he behaves for a bit and then clocks you in the bonce again. The fight pauses again and this time the trainer Bill who looks like he would win a fight with a train steps in.

'Look Joel, no face punching okay? Just body hits'

I stand back and check I still have a nose. It's hard to do while wearing boxing gloves.

'I didn't punch him in the face' says Joel, doing a shrug. He is trying to look like the sort of person who couldn't even imagine punching someone in the face.

'I saw you do it Joel, keep the punches to the body, okay?' says the trainer.

Presence of nose confirmed, the fight resumes. It goes on for a bit, Joel is a wild swinging boxer and fast, so it's like fighting a squid, one that keeps clocking you in the face.


I now have wonky jaw.

The trainer shouts at Joel again. Joel appeals that he could never have punched me in the face, I must have moved my fast forward and down suddenly into someone else's fist.

The fight begins again. I'm learning to protect my head.

Joel takes a swing at my head, but it is blocked. I let out an internal cheer. He smacks me on the other side of the head. I spin around a bit. A detached part of my mind things 'wow, that does really happen.'

My rage is building, fast. I've told him to stop. The trainer has told him to stop. In social situation this might end with a fight, but we are already fighting. I don't know how to respond.

I decide to write him a stiff letter. While deciding on an appropriately chilling sign off I am punched in the head again.

The fight is stopped. Joel gets a telling off from the trainer. I spar with someone else who because he is a gentleman only punches me in the stomach. It's bliss.

I still can't explain why I go, but I'm not stopping.

I may grow a moustache get the whole Victorian strongman look going a bit more. I know that this will mean that the delights of women would be forever closed off to me, but one has to pay the price for progress. I'd quite like a caddish pencil moustache, which would eventually grow into a quite bushy number.

One should never pick facial hair lightly. It's an investment


Charles Clare said...

Hi There

I'm working on a TV series that is looking for Men that are sick of being thought of as Gay, when they are straight. I wondered if you might be interested, or post about it on your blog.

Karl Webster said...

I liked this post. It reminded me of Fight Club. Very good.