Friday, January 13, 2012

What happens when you are not fight training.....

After my last fight, a rematch that was on December 11th, I knew I had to take a long break before getting back into the ring. My goal was to change my style to be more aggressive and to throw more punches so I could get the W this time. I knew the fight wasn't going to be pretty and it wasn't, but with the help of my coach and training partners, I was glad I could implement the changes enough to get the win.

Now, my heart isn't into fighting in the ring. It's somewhere else.

For one thing, the film is coming to a close and all my fighting energy has to go towards finishing it. Hiring a composer, sound designer, mixer, music supervisor, getting everyone to do it below their normal rate so I don't go too much into debt is my job now. Also, I have to finalize: lock picture, title, voice-over, be prepared to live the rest of my life with the decisions I make now. No going back and changing. As Michael Jackson once said, "This is it."

After training hard for five solid months, my body is stiff and sore. Not a spring chicken and having other responsibilities in my life, this whole competing as a boxer thing takes a toll on a girl. I was grateful to have the time, the wonderful people encouraging me, coaching, sparring and training hard with with me. But now, I need a break!

1. The first thing I noticed is I immediately dropped some weight. When you don't train twice a day, you aren't as hungry. Even enjoying cocktails and Nutella, I somehow shrank. My back and shoulders got a little smaller simply from atrophy. While I enjoy that lean look, I want to keep my strength and know I can bang if I need to. Much more important.

2. Another thing, I found I had more energy. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. With more energy, I can go out at night, drink, dance, carouse and be social, but sometimes stayed out way beyond my bedtime. This is actually mucho fun after being a house monk for several months.

But, I can totally see how pro fighters who have made fighting their way of life and then retire, can go off the deep end when their training ends. That crazy energy isn't being sated with discipline and physical exertion anymore, so they look for something else.

Luckily, I've already had my dalliances with drugs, hookers, and alcohol, but I still have the urge to wear fishnets. Fortunately, when those fishnet photos show up on Facebook, no one blinks an eye and I don't have to explain anything to my husband.

Finally, being with friends I hadn't spent time with in months was amazing and having the energy to really connect made me feel like a sponge soaking in the people I love.

Working for yourself with more energy is a blessing. I am an emailing, editing, phone calling, going to meetings dynamo when I am not needing a nap in the middle of the day after sparring, jumping rope and hitting bags. Also, I manage an MMA fighter and can set aside more time to get fights for her, negotiate and learn more about the lay of that land.

The lists of things I need to do around the house are getting accomplished at a frightening speed, which gets my husband off my back. Yay.

3. The creativity I put into combinations and movement in training is channeled into my writing, helping to create music for the film, ideas for projects on the back burner, and discussions with other people. I actually have the impetus to want to initiate other projects. Before, I was too tired to even think about it. Just the thought of trying to get another project off the ground made me want to tap out.

4. When I do go to a fight gym to train, I don't feel the need to go all out. I just work my technique so it doesn't go away and enjoy watching the other fighters spar or move around the bag. This is completely different when I am training for a fight and have the blinders on. I also enjoy talking to the other boxers, people training, coaches, etc. I am a part of the world again.

5. I am enjoying swimming, running and even tried, (cough) yoga. Yoga pretty much kicked my ass for a few days. At least in sparring, after the initial impact of punches, the pain usually goes away. If it's a hard body shot, it might stay with you for a bit, but yoga will fuck you up for days, especially if you are ambitious. Maybe Pilates would be a better fit...

I wonder if the desire to train full force will return. In the meantime, I am not going to judge it. I'm just going to enjoy wearing girly clothes, make-up, having more time in my day for other things, work my ass off to finish the film and position it the best that I can. After that, I'm sure another desire will possess me......or, I'll just have to fight again.


  1. (I am SO cracking up about the "yoga will fuck you up for days" comment. So true!)

    Jill, it's awesome to read about your shift of gears. Of COURSE a project like your film will be all-consuming for a while, and boxing will need to recede into the background for a while. For everything, there is a season.

    I go through mini-seasons myself, and am currently finding myself wanting to maintain boxing training, but not wanting to schedule a fight (and the crazy-intense training camp that goes with it) right now. Mostly that's because I'm deeply immersed in a new job that I *love*.

    But boxing will always be there for us. The damn steep curve of getting back in ring shape will always be there to offer a challenge for us to pick up. The satisfying feeling of beating the crap out of something will still give us the compelling buzz we seek.

    And of course, there's always fishnets. :)

    I always enjoy reading your posts. Can't WAIT to see the film!

    1. Lisa, thanks for your comment and words! Yes, the maintenance part of training is important mentally, if nothing else. It's keeping me sane as I go through the roller coaster of finishing the film and trying to get it into a good festival. Really hope we get into one soon and can ride the wave of publicity around women boxing in the Olympics in 2012. IT's an exciting time.

      So glad you have a job you *love*! Those can be hard to come by.

      Really hope to meet you one day. Maybe we can move around, hit the bag, etc. Would be fun!