It's been a very, very long haul but week two of my eight (and a
bit) week fight plan has finally finished. Monday-Saturday's tasks
(Sunday is a rest day, thank goodness) have included three sprint
sessions, two weights sessions, two group boxing classes, two
sparring classes and three one-on-one training sessions with my
coach, ex professional boxer and English and European flyweight
champion, Cathy Brown (www.cathybrown.co.uk).
My partner says I talk of nothing else but my training, gabbling
constantly about a hook here or a roll there and usually
accompanying my chatter with a demonstration as she is removing her
make-up, reading a book or even trying (and failing) to get to
sleep… I get home from evening's boxing class and watch online
clips of GB boxer and Olympic gold medalist, Nicola Adams, hoping
that I can learn by osmosis, as if her skill might seep through the
screen and into my brain.
I am trying, of course, to maintain some kind of 'normal' life,
but maybe it's time to accept that, for the remaining days and
weeks until the fight is over, any kind of regular work and social
schedule are impossible. Nowadays the few hours inbetween training
sessions are taken up with travelling to and from Soho's The Third
Space, washing (both myself and endless sets of boxing kit, kindly
provided by Lonsdale, www.lonsdale.com), eating,
sleeping and desperately trying to stick to pre-existing writing
deadlines and still make enough money to pay the rent.
So far I'm managing. But some things remain far beyond my
control and have made the last week far more challenging than it
would otherwise have been. I am talking, sympathetic ladies, about
hormones. As those close to me will attest, I am, at the best of
times emotionally wide-awake, expressive and occasionally
oversensitive. During the few days before, and the first couple of
days of, my period, I range between extremely cantankerous and (how
can I put this politely…) completely insane. A small bump from a
fellow commuter on the tube might easily prompt tears, let alone
repeatedly getting tapped (sometimes hit) in the face by another's
boxing glove and facing the frustration of doing things wrong over
and over again.
Luckily my coach, Brown is patient and together we practice my
jabs, slips, rolls, over and over and over.
"I'm just drilling these moves into you until you get it," she
says kindly, but I can't help feeling that if I just 'got it'
quicker we wouldn't have to go over it so much.
Next I have to stand in the correct position and let her hit me,
repeatedly. Although I'd rather be doing virtually anything else in
the world right now, I know that I can't let PMT get in the way of
training when there are so few weeks to prepare.
"Just block and take the shots," says Brown. "They don't hurt as
long as you're protecting yourself."
And (unsurprisingly since she's a champion) she's right. I'm
starting to understand the full meaning of the phrase 'roll with
the punches' and that, whatever time of the month, you can get used
to getting knocked, keep your eyes open and even come back with
another punch. Like most things it just takes practice and it just
takes a lot more mettle when you're pre-menstrual.
If you want to sponsor Lucy (all the money raised
goes to MIND), please visit www.justgiving.com/frylucy
Fight night is 16 November 2012. To buy tickets
(£25, £35 or £45), contact: firstname.lastname@example.org