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Monday, 8 November 2010

To Box or Not to Box...?

That is the question..

Sorry in advance for a rather rambled and senseless post.. I can't quite get my thoughts clear in my head so getting them to make sense in writing is not going so well!

Those of you who were on twitter on Thursday night might already know but Mike got pretty badly injured during sparring and was in A&E for a painfully long time on Thursday night whilst I was under strict instructions to wait at home. He got his eye socket fractured and will probably need surgery. I'm so upset, angry and frustrated about it all because it shouldn't have happened. The club and coaches made a number of mistakes or poor judgements which lead to it. I've put them in a list to try and attempt to keep some readability!
  1. Uncontrolled sparring - they stand there and let boxers go all out to try and knock each other out. IMO this should not happen in sparring.. I'm quite happy to do hard sparring but just trying to hurt someone for the sake of hurting someone is not teaching either boxer anything. You should be trying things out and learning in sparring not just throwing knock-out shots.
  2. Before it happened Mike had just done a full 2hr session including 3 x 3 minute rounds with someone who was 20kgs heavier than him who had also had 10 bouts to his 1.. Does that sound like fair sparring? - It could be if it was controlled but not going all out.
  3. Then they put him in with a boxer who had just walked in having skipped the rest of the session. Mike had already said he wasn't feeling good and had been cooled down for 10 minutes. The coach was pushy to have him go in so Mike felt like he couldn't really say know. Other boxer tries only to knock people out when he is sparring. Not working on skills just trying to hurt. Nothing said by coaches = Mike gets his eye socket fractured.
  4. Not really related to Mike's eye but another example of bad coaching, they put in inexperienced boxers for the full 3 rounds who just end up getting beaten up for 3 rounds.
  5. They put in people who they haven't seen spar before without properly monitoring it, or testing them out on someone who they know won't be hurt.
  6. On the way to the hospital coach tells Mike this is their 3rd broken bone in a matter of months.. Erm what? No boxing club I have been to has ever had a broken bone in sparring whilst I've been there and these have had three in a matter of months. Cue alarm bells. Something is not right with this clubs sparring...
So now I have a poor boyfriend with a swollen face who can't eat properly 'cause his jaw is all messed up and painful. It doesn't look as bad as I expected it would, when I was waiting at home while he was in A&E I was so worried I'd get upset when I saw the damage. He said if you run your finger along the bone you can feel the missing bits but I haven't been brave enough to do that!!

To be honest, all of this makes me wonder about boxing. As soon as he rung me from hospital and told me what had happened I started questioning if I wanted him to go back in the ring and my thoughts were absolutely not too risky. So then I started thinking well if you're that worried about him do you want to step back in the ring and the honest answer is I'm not sure. I feel like we've had loads of bad luck with boxing, every time we're at a club something goes wrong.. Maybe someone up there is trying to tell us something. I don't know what we're going to do right now.

I'm really angry about the way things happened at the club I feel like they've been really irresponsible, not just with Mike but with the other boxers who have been injured. Some of them had not been going for very long and to be sparring so hard you get a broken bone when you're a new boxer just doesn't seem right to me. Mike thought the sparring I got there a few weeks back should have been stopped. Whilst I was saying I could cope with it even though I was being overpowered he felt it shouldn't have been happening as I wasn't really able to learn anything from it in the last round as all I could do was try to cover up...

What would you do? Would you say enough is enough, it's not working out? I don't know.. If Mike does have to have surgery he probably won't even pass his medical to box anymore so that might answer our questions anyway. I'm so frustrated and angry about it. I wouldn't be if it was an accident but there are clear signs of irresponsibility and negligence from the coaches which we would have seen had we been there longer but I didn't expect the sparring to be that hard everytime... When you try a new club they always seem to spar you hard to test what you're made of so we thought that's what they were doing in our first session and not that it was the norm..

We have been going back and forth with our thoughts.. we're not sure if we want to quit.. It would leave a big hole and I'm not sure what we would fill it with! I guess we might try another combat sport but I don't really feel that attracted to martial arts and MMA seems far more aggressive to me than boxing... What to do, what to do...

Enough of my confused ramblings though, remember the 100 burpee challenge I mentioned in my partner workout post? We did it today! But before we started the burpees we checked our max push-ups to do the 100 push up challenge which Luke recommended to me. My max has gone from 30 to 15 and Mike's is now 30.. guess we've been slacking in the push-up department!

The 100 burpees went ok... Except for Mike beating me by 4 seconds! Dammit! He finished in 6.25 and I did it in 6.29... I was thinking... Would people be interested in doing a 100 burpee blog challenge? Maybe set a base time and see who can knock off the most time in a month? Or set a base number of how many you can do and try and improve on it. Would anyone be up for that? It will build good leg strength... I can hardly walk up or down the stairs after doing it a few hours ago which must be a good thing.. kind of!

I also managed my first lot of the push-up challenge after I'd recovered a bit from the nasty burpees (not selling this 100 burpee challenge very well am I..?) the first week calls for 5 sets, 10, 12, 7, 7, max(12). So today I've done 63 push-ups...not bad, not bad!

Anyway, I'm going to go chill out and watch some tv before bed.. I've had this post in my draft folder all day and I don't think I can make it make any more sense!! Hope you're all having a good week!


  1. omg i hope mike is okay! quick and speedy recovery! although i did chuckle at your tag "fractured eye socket" i had a friend in college do that during a rugby game. definitely still looks like a painful thing to go through!

    i'm hoping to try out the 100 pushup/situp/squats (or however many number the different ones are) because i am soooo slacking in the strength department!

  2. Oh wow girl I had no idea that happened. How scary actually. I really don't have any solid advice other than to listen to your gut. It sounds like it's telling you no more boxing. But, if it's something you truly love, then I wouldn't give it up.

  3. Good Lord that's terrible! I agree with Heather: listen to your gut...Is it worth it? If nothing else I'd be changing boxing gyms. Wishing Mike a speedy recovery!

  4. Wow--that's awful, especially since it's something you both enjoy. Do some deep thinking about it and trust what your gut tells you. Good luck!

  5. Hi there;)
    i'm really sorry to read this. ugh. What I think you should do..if you love boxing (which seems like it can be such a cool sport) is maybe become a coach yourself/ves??? What do you think?

  6. Nasty. Quick recovery wishes to Mike.

    I'm not really qualified to comment on boxing - my only knowledge comes from reading a book a few years ago (Looking for a Fight by Dave Mathews if my memory is working) but I suspect different gyms have different cultures. One gym might be tough but give alot of focus to technique because toughness is nothing without technique but others might have a culture thats just a macho dick waving contest. Sounds to me like the current gym is the latter.

    I'd have thought bad damage to an eye socket could be troublesome in terms of passing a medical but who knows?

    I wouldn't rule boxing out. You can train without fighting or you can carry on as you are. What is the honest attraction of boxing - have a think about that and see if there is anything that matches.

  7. Poor Mike! Hope he feels better soon.

    Re boxing, I would go with you gut/instincts on this one. You know all the risks and benefits so it's gotta to come down to how you feel. Good luck with your decision :)

  8. Oh hun, I'm not surprised you're feeling all over the place at the moment. This must have been a frightening thing to happen, for both of you. I think you should give yourself a few weeks without making a decision either way. I know you both love your boxing, and I imagine that as time goes by, and the shock subsides, the idea of giving it up will be a hard one to bear..

    For now just concentrate on doing the stuff you enjoy: running in the autumn weather (when it's nice), and doing 100 burpee challenges in between! Wishing Mike a speedy recovery :-)

  9. Blimey thats really awful. Is the club affliated to any governing bodies? If they are I would be making a complaint, if not they surely have to abide by health and safety and should have a policy in place. They've clearly been out of order and unprofessional. I can see your dilema with the boxing thing - its a real shame that you can't find a decent club x

  10. Oh dear, so sorry to hear about all of this. Hopefully everything will go ok with the surgery and maybe give you both time to step back and see what your options are. It does sound dangerous and maybe not the best place to be.

  11. Oh dear that is awful- hope he gets better soon (I would not be brave enough to touch it either). On the boxing subject- can you train without actually fighting if that makes sense? Then you do all the partner drills and things but it is safer?
    And what's a burpee again? ;)

  12. Sorry to hear about this, not a good situation to be in, I think you know the answer already, it's there in what you've written. The set up at the gym sounds out of control if people are getting hurt!I hope your other half is okay, you both need to have a long hard think about what you both want to do. Wishing you both the best.

  13. Oh my gosh, I really hope Mike is alright. It doesn't sounds like the boxing club is being very responsible at all.

    I can't offer you any advice on whether you should contniue to box or not. I know nothing about it. Just weigh up the pros and cons and go with your gut. Good luck!

  14. Thank-you everyone for your kind comments.. and for reading this muddle of a post!

    I think we will leave the decision for a while, definately continuing the boxing style training at home and then decide about a gym.. trouble is I think we've been through all the local gyms and all have had problems we can't see past. This one seemed to be good.. had it's downsides but it was stuff which we could see past and then the problem emerges! Hopefully with time we'll figure out what's right for us. We're going to the hospital tomorrow so it will be a case of listening to what the doctor says with regards to risks of continuing with Mike's injury. It's something we do together so if he can't box then I won't be either!

    Thanks for all the helpful comments :-)

  15. Ouch! Poor Mike! Hopefully with surgery and sometime to heal he will spring back. I am sure this is a tough time for the both of you. I know how much you both enjoy boxing and what a passion it is for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please take care:)