Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I just got back from boxing class and I'm dying but feel great. It's only my second class back this term, so it's still a bit of a shock to the system.
Luckily, Reggie never changes. Reggie, the semi-pro boxer in his late 20s, fancies himself the ladies man, a great teacher who knows to push just hard enough. He's always full of his little Reggie-isms, which he cheerfully shouts at us while we try to hold that push-up for 10 more seconds...

treat yourself, don't cheat yourself
get your money, get your money!
pain is only temporary
beautiful work, my soldiettes

I'm too brain dead to think of some of his other witticisms. I've been taking class from him on and off for about four years. It's a "Boxing Fitness for Women" class held at a community center in my new neighborhood. Maralea got me hooked after dragging me to class...I never thought I would love it. I still feel ambivalent about the sport of boxing but at least I can now appreciate the skill involved. And I have to thank Reggie's boxing class for helping me survive my last days at freightliner - great way to work out lots of crankiness and frustration by hitting the heavy bag!

The community center is actually a very historic place for boxing in Portland. The Knott Street boxing club produced a ton of boxers in the 60's and was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. Alot of the old guys still hang around and train the younger boxers (who clear out at 7 when the 'ladies classes' start. It's very old school...maralea and I went one day and took pics when we were taking a b/w photo class. I need to dig those up...

Here's a link to an article about the Knott Street Boxing Club.

Oddly enough, it was written by Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love (one of my all-time fave books) is a huge boxing fan and writes extensively on boxing. She hasn't written a novel since Geek Love (1989) but according to wikipedia she's publishing one in Sept. 08!

She has an essay in the book Shadow Boxers: Sweat, Sacrifice & the Will to Survive in American Boxing Gyms (looks like an interesting book with tons of great b/w pics - i just put it on hold at the library)

so yeah, who would have thought that a vegetarian, tree hugging pacifist would end up LOVING her boxing class? not that i actually have any interest in actually hitting people instead of the bag, but still....it's pretty damn fun beating the crap out of that bag...


carmen said...

This post makes me want to start going to a boxing class myself. The thought of women boxing is different to me than the boxing industry. I love it.

sunnywave said...

you go girl!! i was practicing some jabs the other day, it's hard WORK! lol. p.s. i hear you about the irony. especially coming from this hippy dream-reader turned football fan! go warriors!! xoxox

Nanimal said...

get your money, get your money.

It's just odd enough in my brain to become a motivation. I'll ad it to "No rest for the wicked..."

heathre said...

nanimal - i often hear your dad's phrase booming through my head when i'm feeling lazy 'no rest for the wicked, get your wicked ass to work'...along with sunnywave's 'paddle paddle paddle' (which seems like it would only apply to surfing, but seems to pop up at the weirdest times :)