Boxing for Refuge: Week 10, in which my last chance to train before the big night is oddly reassuring

I’m home from my last training session before fight night and … I’m actually feeling pretty confident.

We were doing defensive drills today to focus on making sure none of us came out with black eyes or whiplash or what have you. This was good for me. I quite enjoy defensive drills because I don’t mind getting hit and I feel pretty pumped afterwards.

I got a chance to spar with the woman I’ll be fighting against on Friday for the first time in weeks.

It wasn’t really sparring in the sense that we’ve been sparring over the past few sessions. It was based on the defensive drills we were doing and trying to get us into a habit of defending and countering rather than rushing into the fight.

I got told off for rushing into the fight. Oops.

But that’s what these drills are for, sorting that out.

As well as practicing blocking and tucking and all the usual defences, we spent some time just getting out of the way. I was very proud of myself for managing to move as quickly as I did the first time I had to back off. I’m used to standing my ground and taking a beating until I get a (usually too obvious) opening to hit back. I don’t mind taking a punch. But it’s definitely worth knowing how to get out of the way!

I feel like my fight on Friday is going to be pretty fierce, but I’m feeling more confident now than I was this morning. I’d kind of built up my opponent to be much taller and tougher than she is to the point that I was picturing a giant squashing me under her fist when I knew that was absurd.

Today I felt how hard she can punch, I got used to hitting her back, I saw her get exhausted and I felt how I was doing in comparison. I think she’s going to make me really work to get through the six minutes we’ll be in the ring, but I think I’ll walk out at the end of it feeling pretty good and ready to party. After a shower.

There are now just two days left before the fight and I’m actually surprised at how relaxed I am right now. Especially considering I was so jittery about it this morning, hoping the week could last just a little longer…

Now, I’m still aware that I’m not perfect at this, but I’m more awarethan I was that my opponent isn’t either, that she’s not going to be able to exploit my every slip up, that I’m not going to get cracked in the face quite as often as I did before when I was training with the women who were far more experienced than I am!

It helps that some of the women in the group had some really nice things to say to me afterwards. I really love how supportive our group is and I’m so glad I’ve got to meet and know all these incredible women.

For anyone who wants to come – you can book your tickets here. You can also get tickets on the door.

There is also still time left to donate via my JustGiving page here. I’ve hit my target but it’s all still going to a good cause.


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