This is my first challenge. And as of now, I think I’m just going to leave my boxing days behind and stick to a regular gym. Today wasn’t about signing up for a lifelong hobby, I am more than comfortable doing that. But rather, throwing myself into a situation in alien terrain. (Being in a confined space with 30 sweaty men who want to punch my head).
But all jokes aside, this was an uncomfortable experience for me. For a few reasons:
- I was flying solo.
- I’ve never been boxing or had a fight in my life
- And I forgot to take my water bottle…
So What Happened?
The moment I got through the door I knew I was in trouble. Immediately it became apparent that everyone had a partner. And I hadn’t even signed up yet. But that did not deter me. I was resolute to see this through. So I go into the changing room, put my gear on, pack my stuff away and head out to wait with the rest of the boxers.
Now I’m in the lion’s den. I’m tightly packed in a small hallway with a group of boxers and we’re all waiting for the group before us to finish their warm down so we could take the floor. At this point, I’m just standing there by myself, listening in on the conversations around me when I hear one guy say “I really can’t wait to practice [insert kick here]” And then I realized. This wasn’t the boxing group I was stood with. It was the kickboxing group. The boxing group was warming up in front of me, not warming down.
Now I’ve got three choices:
- Try and join the warmup.
- Stay silent, head up to kickboxing and try to act like I belong.
- Stand awkwardly on the sidelines and wait for the warmup to be over.
Luckily before I have to make my decision, I spot someone I know, my old boss. She tells me to jump into the warm-up unaware, and to be honest, I still don’t know if she was just goading me on or trying to help. However, I don’t have to make the decision. I’m saved by the bell and the warm-up ends, and I slide in like the slippery snake I am.
I slither into the training area and I get told to try and find a sparring partner. Obviously, everyone around me has already partnered up, so I end up with someone who quite clearly doesn’t want to be my partner. We do our first exercise trying to punch each other’s shoulders and he keeps nailing me. But I also got a few hits in.
What Happened Next…
After this, the trainer asks me if this is my first session. I tell him it is and he moves me to a separate ring and I get trained with two more beginners. The training is pretty normal, learning how to stand, position your weight etc. And all I’m thinking is “great now I’m with other people who are the same level as me.”
The only problem, there’s 3 of us, and the other two partner up. And the guy I end up getting partnered with has 6 inches on me and is twice as muscular. He absolutely wails on me. He asked me multiple times if he was being too hard, but I thought this was some sort of initiation test and I wasn’t about to crack, so I tell him “Nah I barely notice it..”. Big mistake. This guy basically knocks me around for the rest of the hour. And I barely land a punch on him, because I’ve never hit anybody before and I didn’t want to hurt him.
The Warm Down
The “warm down” was even harder. It was just pure cardio. Let me just say that I’m in pretty good shape, or at least I thought I was. Because this warm down absolutely killed me. The first thing we had to do was 10 pressups run 15 feet to the other side of the room and do 10 burpees and then back to do the same thing. But only 9 then 8. And you ALSO had a partner that couldn’t leave until you were finished. So not only was I one of the SLOWEST people doing this. At this point, I haven’t had a drink, so I’m also one of the THIRSTIEST.
I tried to hold out for as long as I can. Because I don’t want to look like a bitch. But after I get to 8 left, I just need a drink and I tell him “sorry mate, we’re coming in last, I NEED a drink” he just laughs and waits for me. And when I get back the next warm down is even weirder. We basically have to leapfrog over each other. It sounds easy but at this point, I am SO tired, I can’t quite make it over this guy. So I keep dragging my nuts across his head every time I jump over him.
And that was the last warm down I had to do, the rest was history. All that was left was going into the changing rooms and getting greeted by loads of dicks and and heading home, where I am now sat aching away.
How Did This Help?
For one of my first comfort zone challenges, I thought I better start strong. While some people might find doing this easy it definitely made me feel uncomfortable. But after doing this I sort of learned that people are going to be friendly even if you are slowing them down.
I also got the reminder that nothing is as bad as you make it out to be in your head. When I got there I was way less nervous than before. And once I knew I couldn’t bottle it and had to stay, well I’m pretty sure at one point I actually enjoyed it.
I’m definitely going to use this experience as a building block to build upon.
My next comfort zone challenge is going to be recording my first youtube video! Where you can watch me talk about this story AND find out a little bit about me and why I’m doing these 30 challenges!
Check out my other articles on The Comfort Zone: