Float Like a Butterfly…Part 2


Carole Jean (CJ) the Boxer




I did not intend to sign up for the two-week trial and I certainly had no intention of signing up beyond the trial. On my first drive from Capitola to Scotts Valley, I rehearsed my excuses, er, I mean reasons for not joining : 

“It’s just beyond my budget. I’m a senior citizen on a fixed income – the monthly fee is too steep for me.” (flash toothy grin.)

“It’s too far. You know with traffic and all…(shrug shoulders and flash toothy grin.)

“I read on your website I have to buy my own boxing gloves after the loaners that come with the two-week trial. This is just too rich for my blood.” (purse lips, raise eyebrows, shrug shoulders and flash toothy grin.) I figured boxing gloves must be a couple hundred at least.

I knew I didn’t have to ‘splain myself until the trial was up – I was just practicing my dropout speech. Besides, maybe I would actually fit in here. I already made friends with one of the other students, Suzi Cash. I mean with a name like that, ya gotta like her. She immediately saved me from a bad move. As I entered the gym for my first group session. She saw me reaching for Charlie, my security blanket. “You might not want to pet Charlie at the moment. He got skunked and he’s pretty stinky.”

I withdrew my hand, beamed a grateful smile at her, and breathed a sigh of relief. As I watched her expertly wrapping her hands with the long elastic hand-wraps, I knew she was no stranger to this boxing gym. Brian, the gym owner, came to my rescue just when I started panicking, “CJ, come on over here. I’ll wrap you.”

He leaned in and quietly said, “Today’s instructor is Robert. He’s pretty tough. Go easy on yourself. Just do what you can, and don’t feel like you have to keep up with everybody else. If you feel light-headed, take a break, sip come water, – go at your own pace.”

I smiled, “Thanks, Brian!” and bounded back to the bench where my new friend was donning her boxing gloves.

She cocked her head and got close to my ear, “Listen, Robert is our toughest instructor. Don’t kill yourself on the first day. Take it easy at first. I was sore every day for the first month I trained here. You’re gonna be sore.”

While I appreciated the warnings, I thought to myself, Ha! they don’t know who they are dealing with here. I may be a bit rusty and pudgy, but I’ve been a gym rat my whole life. They’ll see!”

Class was about to begin, the students were spread out on the workout area, and I took my place toward the back. Suddenly a gentle voice was in my ear, “CJ, just do what you can. This is your first day. Go at your own pace. If you feel light-headed, stop. Get some water, and pick it up again when you’re ready.” And the sweet-looking, soft-spoken friendly man took center stage and transformed into a bad-ass drill sergeant kicking our butts! 

I held my own as long as I could, and just when I was about to give out, another newbie, in the midst of holding a seemingly endless “plank,” collapsed on the mat spread-eagle and yelled, “God-dammit!”

The entire room cracked up, including Robert. He grinned and remarked, “You said it, but everybody else was thinking it!”

I made it through the first week of training, and the numbers on my cheap little home scale were making me happy. My jeans were loose! Not only was I energized, I was so exhausted from the daily sessions, I was sleeping through the night. Wow! 

Well, maybe I would sign up for the membership, but only for one month! That’s it, one month. And what about the boxing gloves? I went on eBay and found a pair of hot pink twelve ouncers for ten bucks! Sold! I’m still looking for the matching shoes.

I’m now entering my fifth week of training at Santa Cruz Boxing and couldn’t be more pleased with my progress. Oh yeah, after week one, Brian offered to weigh me on his special scale which gives not only my weight in pounds, but measures body fat, water content, bone density, and physical age. 

“Well, does it cost extra?” I asked, trying to get out of it. I weigh and measure at home, but I cheat. I move the scale around the room until I get the number I want and pull the tape measure to the point of breaking just to get a better number.

“No extra charge,” grinned Brian. “And we should get some before and after pictures.” I sure do get my money’s worth at this place. And talk about being held accountable? To quote Robert, “You ain’t cheatin’ me, you’re cheatin’ yourself.” 

Can’t argue with that! There are more “Robertisms” to come as my story unfolds. 

And as far as the place being “too far?” People come from as far away as Pacific Grove, over an hour’s drive, to train at this gym. I can hardly wait to try the kickboxing and Tai Chi! There is something for everyone here, including special kick-ass boot camps. I plan to try them all and report back to you, dear reader, in case you want to get fit fast. Click on this link to read all about it.

Never say never.

Oh, and by the way … in my last blog, I said it was the “second anniversary of my fiftieth year.” That’s a lie! It is the twentieth anniversary of my fiftieth birthday. One of my readers pointed it out to me. Okay, the truth is, it was Brian. He read part 1 and said,
“So, CJ, are you fifty-two or seventy?  You said it was the second anniversary of your fiftieth birthday. Fifty-two makes more sense!”

“Oh Jeez! You’re right. I messed up on the math. It’s seventy! But thanks for making my day!” 

Guess I’ll sign up for another month.





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