Week two was filled with some sad and shocking cancer related news. An old friend, someone that I have so many amazing memories of and with, is fighting cancer that has spread throughout her body. My mum called to give me this news on Friday morning and though I knew this lady had cancer, I couldn't help but feel shocked and so thrown off on my way to work that morning and for the rest of the day. This individual is someone I looked up to as a child and in my early soccer years. She was a huge influence on my childhood (I hope she knows that) and the thought of her fighting against this terrible disease makes me feel both sad and angry! How does cancer choose who it is going to affect? It's just not fair. I know how strong of a person this woman is and I am 100% confident in her ability and will to fight this!
When I got home from work that evening, I then received some more shocking news that a new friend of mine had recently been diagnosed with cancer. He reached out to me initially that day to let me know that he read my blog and was asking me about my training schedule... When I asked him how things were with him- I was completely blindsided with this news. However, his positivity and strength really struck a chord with me and put everything into perspective. THIS is why I am fighting. I am so grateful for both of these individuals in my life and they made me realize even more-so than ever that this fight to end cancer is real. We need to work together and get this under control because I don't know how much more of it anyone can take!
I am fighting for my friends and I am fighting for anyone that has ever been or will ever be affected by this HORRENDOUS illness.
My week of actual boxing was a good one! I trained two nights this week at Kingsway Boxing and I learned a lot. I think I have most of the punches in order but I was starting to get concerned about how to defend against a punch. Anytime we are told to shadow box and add the defence in, I immediately feel awkward because I have no idea what I am supposed to do. I know it seems fairly sensible to simply duck out of the way of something coming flying at your face, but there is much more to it and when my busy brain gets thinking, I just get more and more confused!
On Tuesday evening, Jennifer focused on defending using two more terms that I had never heard before. Most people in the class are veterans to the boxing world so they knew exactly what they were doing when they heard the words "parry" and "trap" - while I stood there like a deer in headlights having no clue what Jenn was talking about!
I got a quick lesson and was thrown into it with my new favourite partner, Betty Ann! Betty Ann was one of the first ladies I met at Kingsway Boxing and is the sweetest woman! Even though we're not allowed to talk to each other as we practice our skills, Betty Ann sometimes whispers some tricks to me and lets me know different ways I can improve my technique. This is MUCH appreciated (especially because it kills me to have to be quiet for 3 minutes at a time). She's great to work with and once I felt comfortable with the simple flicks of my wrists to defend straight punches, it actually started to feel natural as we threw gentle punches at each other. I even kept my eyes staring directly at Betty Ann's neck area (lesson from last week), this allows you to peripherally watch your opponent's shoulders and anticipate what punch they are going to throw next.
On Thursday, Virgil gave us a lesson on how to step on your opponent's foot...hehe just kidding. This was actually what we were doing but it was an exercise to work on our footwork and understand how to cut off your opponent in the ring. I was paired up with my new friend Steven and I found myself getting really competitive in a 'child playing tag' kind of way. We did this over and over and over again in 3 minute rounds with crunches in between. Virgil was torturing us and wouldn't let us get water EVEN when I asked very politely. I survived though. The ball of my foot however, has a lovely blister on it from constantly being on my toes.
Both nights were tough workouts and I feel my confidence and skills are always improving!
It is still surreal to me that I am doing this and actually stepping into the ring. I can feel the love and support from all of my family, friends and colleagues and I feel so blessed that I was given this opportunity.
If you can and if you would like, I have included the link to my personal fundraising page where I will be collecting donations for cancer research. Every nickel, dime and quarter counts!
Thank you for joining me on this journey!
Talk to you next week!