Boxing Your Way To Better Health

I’m not planning to fight, but hitting is great!

Tony Ollivier


Image by Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay

I’m a 50 (cough, cough) year old man. I work out four to five times a week; cardio, some weights, stretching and the occasional yoga class. And I’m bored. If it wasn’t for Netflix on my phone, cardio on an elliptical device would be the equivalent to an aerobic root canal. I’ve found watching Matt Damon kick ass in a Bourne movie kicks my heart rate up high enough so I’m getting a workout.

To mix things up, I occasionally engage the skills of Vancouver’s Mike Howard as a personal trainer. Focused one-on-one workouts in a private gym. However, after about 30 minutes, I check the clock like I’m in my grade ten math class and think, “When will this be over?” Mike smiles, gives me a breather and then we continue. Or to be precise, I continue, with Mike directing my form and counting. Usually by this time, I hate everything about him (I don’t really but it feels like it)

Mike Howard — He looks like a trainer doesn’t he?

A few months ago, he talked about Verena Pelletier, a woman he partners with in some classes. A “boxer” — aka, a woman that teaches boxing under the guise of personal training. As I had started to write a novel about a kick ass female PI, I needed help with research.

I connected with Verena and we started.

Verena getting my attention

To be clear, this is also one-on-one training in a private gym with no sweaty “Rocky” style athletes ready to call me a girly-man.

We started with a cardio warm-up, some combinations (left jab, right jab) in the air, then the same thing with two-pound weights. THEN shit got real. She wrapped my hands with long cotton strips and I slipped on the gloves.

As she called out combinations, I hit a heavy bag she held in place. Jab, jab, right hook. Jab, jab, right hook and uppercut. Rinse and repeat. Soon, I dripped sweat and ran out of breath several times. I also discovered trying to grab my water bottle using boxing gloves was a mean feat. But…