Fitness

Box clever

If you’re female and you love working out, have you ever considered boxing? Hannah Spearritt, aka ‘Hurricane Hannah’, has been training for a match for Sport relief, and she tells you why it could be the best thing you ever try…

Greetings all! So, this month has been all about my latest fitness journey, which is a charity boxing match for Sport Relief. I’ll admit, I had serious doubts about doing this. Black eyes and a broken nose were the first things that sprung to mind. Not ideal considering my profession! It will be an amateur bout, though, so head guards will be worn, and that does reduce the risk of those happening, but even so… I’ve never boxed in my life and I’m a girl, we’re not supposed to box… are we?

However, it’s bloody good fun and now my fitness is giving me greater composure. I’m really starting to enjoy it.

On top of that, it’s a great sport to learn, and it’s far more interesting when you scratch beyond the surface. When you watch two people trying to batter each other senseless, it often doesn’t look like it’s a highly-skilled, well-drilled profession involving laser-like precision.

I’m currently a bit more like when you throw a coconut at the fair and it hits the can but doesn’t knock it over. I’m improving all the time, though, and my coaches are really helping me. Pimlico Plumbers and Fitzroy Lodge have both been kindly letting me use their gym, and 12 Rounds Boxing Gym, Clapham, have also been helpful. All great places to learn how to float like a butterfly and sting… eventually!

Of course, it’s nice to write about something I’m doing for charity and tell everyone to watch it and donate, which you all will of course I’m sure, wink wink, but I thought this would give me a chance to discuss the fitness benefits of boxing for women in a bit more detail.

The reason for this is simple really; I thought I was in decent shape; until I boxed a two-minute round. Where am I?! What’s my name?! I was all over the place.

I really had no idea how different true fight-ready fitness was compared to what I had become accustomed to. I have done extremely hard training in the past, mainly all leg work, so running and cycling etc. Yet when you change that to work the whole body, and the blood has to be pumped up and down the body to all the muscles, it’s a different kettle of fish. And I must say I’m a huge fan. I urge you to find a boxing gym, give it a go, do some technical stuff, maybe even build up to some sparring. It’s a great workout and the fighting takes your mind off things. Of course, it won’t be for everyone but who knows, it might be your game

Another aspect of it I want
to touch on, is the mental side. After that first horrifying, mind-spinning two minutes I was absolutely terrified. All the demons started. ‘I’m too old.
I’m too slow, I’ve never boxed…’ you name it, fear disguised as every excuse. The character-building side of it has been so hard, but you can bet your bottom dollar it has made me so much stronger mentally. I’ve given up so many times in my head, but I always come back one more time. And if you keep practicing that, you’ll reach a point where you start to feel empowered by all the battles you win in your head. It’s amazing how powerful your outlook can make you.

When I walk out there now, I think: ‘She can hit me in the left side of the head, the right, the face but the second she gives me an inch… I’ll be coming after her.’ I don’t want points, I want the knock out… And when I started I was worried about my make-up!

It’s interesting on just how many different levels the mind dictates absolutely everything. Mindset, mindset, mindset. And boxing is a discipline,; the second you lose control of your emotions, you’re in deep trouble.

Civilise the mind but make savage the body. See you on the other side.

‘Hannah the hurricane’

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