Kicking A$$ During the Work Week

Since April, my work life balance has been totally off. Me and my non-food colleagues have been putting in more hours, giving more brain cells, and having less time to decompress. Although I love my current workout regime (bar, yoga, pilates, strength training), I’m exhausted when arrive to class. I definitely feel like my workouts haven’t been as effective as they were before. I haven’t even been motivated to workout lately-super weird even for me.

Truth be told, because I’m so annoyed/pissed that I have no relaxation time, it affects my motivation and concentration at the gym. Normally, I would use the gym as an escape, but my body/mind are exhausted trying to “zone” out when there’s so many other things on my mind. I finally listened to my husband’s advice and decided to take out my aggression somewhere else than on a gym mat.

Insert Boxing. I’ve always wanted to try it out, but I’ve always been too chicken to 1. show up to a guy’s arena and 2. look like an idiot for not knowing how to throw a correct punch. Even though I have nothing to lose, I begged my hubs to come with me to my first class, to act as a safety blanket. We went to a UFC gym and let me just tell you, it’s straight NASTY. Between the smell of sweat, broken toe nails laying around, and the puddles of sweat, it’s definitely not the cleanest gym. However, you get your ass kicked, no really. In the boxing cardio class, you switch off between some cardio exercises (squats, burpees, basically any cardio move that you hate, we did it) and then boxing moves on the bag.  I’ve always heard of those workouts that make you throw up afterwards, but I’ve never myself experienced that until THAT class. Besides sweating off a good 5lbs of body weight from sweat, as soon as the class was over, I was nauseas (and sore) AF. The good part was: that class crushed my soul, the bad part: I didn’t like that there were SO many people in the class, I didn’t feel like my form was being cared for. Plus, I smelled AND my hands smelled like dirty towels-that-have-been-in-a-locker-room-for-5-years. Although I loved getting my aggression out and the incredibly burn I felt days afterwards, I couldn’t physically handle going back to a gym that was that nasty.

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After a few hours of searching, I found a good contender, Franklin Boxing. Located right in the loop on Franklin and Randolph (next to Bacci’s), FB’s classes looked smaller, cleaner, and more hands on than in my cattle size UFC class. I woke up that next Saturday morning and met Ray at FB.  Ray (Pace) is a former Chicago Amateur Boxing Champion voted “The Most Exciting Fighter” in the Chicago City Championships in 1976. Besides being one of the gym’s boxing gurus, Ray has trained fighters for twenty-five years in Chicago.  Talk about an impressive resume huh?

Luckily, there was one other person with me in the class, so it was nice and small. Perfect for learning how to perfect a proper punch. Before we started the hour long class, Ray literally broke down every move for me. He showed me how to stand, how to travel, where my arms should go – this was exactly the type of class that I was hoping for. Even when we moved to the bags, Ray kept his eye on my form and kept fixing my movements until I started to do them right. He even reminded me the importance of warming up and cooling down before and after you’re done boxing. If you don’t, it could cause damage and maybe even injury.

Short & Sweet: Although a class is $30 (and not on classpass), you get a very intimate and focused session. Out of all of the boxing gyms that I’ve tested, Franklin is by far the best experience I’ve had to date.

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