Boxing Blog

    “The Man in the Arena”

    Hey Team,

    Happy Sunday as we hit the middle of Jan!  Things are really amping up and we have the following things going on right now.
    28-Days-Later-Challenge (Starting Feb 1st, kickoff meeting Wed Jan 27th)

    Strength Fundamentals Program (Starting Saturday Feb 6th)

    Pre-Season Training – 1 or 4 week sports team program

    Running Club (via SugarWOD)

    All the ‘extra’ stuff aside, the classes themselves are rocking and rolling along as we are in the midst of these ‘tempo’ reps in the Funky Classes. I have to say, they are not my favorite (those tempo Deadlifts last Friday were TERRIBLE!) but apparently they ARE good for us with increased time-under-tension etc.  Boxing itself continues to present a unique challenge for us as we continue with the ‘100%’ cell-based model.  As a few people have experienced (and only a few since we are talking about Friday afternoons when attendance is pretty low…apparently the call of the Pub is strong on a Friday!) we have been messing about with integrating some of the ‘old-school Round 1’ programming (moving between stations, more cardio-strength-boxing intermixing) into the classes at that time/times.  Long-term this is (of course) where we want to go…we didn’t run the gym ‘that way’ for > 10-years because we didn’t believe in the training methodology.  BUT.  Whilst there are still concerns in the community, whilst  borders being closed and still no available vaccine we will continue with a ‘no-sharing’ model (aka COVID or Cell-Based Model) the rest of the time.

    I know this is frustrating some people who see what ‘other gyms’ are doing on social media – sharing cardio equipment, kettlebells etc without a care in the world – hell, I went 10-pin bowling yesterday and there didn’t seem to be a process for disinfecting either shoes OR ball post use! – and what I would say is that is ‘fine…for them’.  Sometimes you have to take a bit of a stand for what you believe is right.  For me, sharing equipment is an AVOIDABLE risk – and I would feel absolutely terrible if a so-called ‘COVID CLUSTER’ originated at Round 1.  The fact that people could get sick by attending the gym is one thing – that they could get sick doing something that can be avoided?  That’s something else again.  Remember, during the shutdown we spend an absolute FORTUNE on new equipment – once there were 23 bags and shields, now there are 45.  Once there were 5x ski-ergs – now there are 17.  Once there were 12 speedballs – now there are 27.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc.  We have put all of this in place and created a new methodology on the fly to try and ensure everyone is safe…to throw this away within what seems like ‘in sight of the finish line’ would just be crazy!

    Stick with us.  Have faith.  The bike challenges, the sessions that involve multiple cardio efforts on multiple machines, integrated boxing and strength work, integrated cardio and strength…they’ll all be back again…and we have MORE GEAR now to do it all on.  Have faith as it is going to be better than it ever was.

    Somehow what my notes said was going to be a ‘2-line-intro’ has somehow hit 500 words…I wish I was one of those people who could say things and write things simply and succinctly but I guess that will never be my style.

    What I wanted to talk about today is the difference between the lives we lived as kids versus those we all live as adults now.  As a kid – and this has been brought on by the restart of footy training this week – we seemed to have boundless opportunities to move, learn and apply those skills.  My boys (footy boys) have trained 3x this week and are continually being challenged as we install new game plan elements and skill techniques.  And as we remind them that the teams they will very soon be competing against, are doing the same.  As adults, it is just so easy to become disconnected from all of this – when was the last time you really needed to ‘learn’ a new skill in order to complete a task.  When was the last time you chose to go into ‘deficit’ (in terms of your current level of skills) in an environment where you would have to step-up to meet a challenge?

    As kids it seems we were constantly pushing that skill acquisition because there was simply no other way – every year we were moving forward, learning ‘new’ stuff and being challenged in different ways.  You can think back to high-school PE and the ‘new’ sports that were thrown at us every term – you’re playing hockey, now larcrosse, now water polo, now…you get the idea.  But eventually we work out what we like and what we are good at and it seems we do everything we can from that point forward to stay in our comfort zones.  We just don’t (consistently) put ourselves ‘out there’ as much as we did – and because of this, we are way less comfortable with the idea of EVER doing it.

    If I (very simply) relate this to what goes on at the gym it is pretty easy – people who use the bike in the boxing sessions every day.  Or use the ski every day.  Or the rower every day.  Now, I kind of ‘get it’ if you have decided to row every day for a month to challenge yourself to get better at rowing…but that should be where it stops.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Get on a different piece of equipment every day.  For Funky people, the easiest one to point too is people who have been doing classes for months…but are still not doing double unders when it is time to skip.  You have to challenge yourself – you have to basically say ‘enough is enough, I’m going to do this *new thing* (whatever it might be) and I am going to fight through to the end’.

    As adults, we should all easily recognise the incredible benefits of getting OUT of our comfort zone and seizing every opportunity possible to get challenge ourselves/get better.  We SHOULD recognise it because I think pretty much all of us would preach from that pulpit when mentoring others be it work colleagues, friends or your kids when they are facing a new challenge (aka opportunity) in their lives.  But somehow for most of us (me included sadly) the reality is the attraction of playing it safe, of not being seen to make a mistake, of doing whatever it is we are doing ‘RIGHT’ has become more important that just having a go at what is in front of us.  As kids we were so regularly OUT of our comfort zone that it rarely bothered us…as adults though???

    President Roosevelt (Freddie version!) said all of this best in his 1910 speech which history refers to as ‘The Man in the Arena’.


    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    To me this has a pretty simple meaning – DOING is a lot more meaningful than talking about what others may or may not be doing.  And the fact that President Nixon quoted it in his resignation speech?  Well…let’s not worry too much about that!

    See you in the gym,


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