The Pugilist

I have taken up boxing.  I can highly reccomend it.  It’s the perfect anti-dote to my writing life of sitting on my arse and drinking pints of coffee all day. I go once a week to a proper boxer’s gymn, All Stars Boxing Gym on the Harrow Road,  which stinks to high heaven of real boxers’ sweat and I wear gloves which reek of bone fide eau de jockstrap – and God it’s great. 

I go to a women’s class on a Sunday and it’s run by Mr A, a stocky doe-eyed black man with a keen sense of humour. He’s worked with tons of tough men, pro boxers and amateurs etc – and yet he seems happy enough taking a bunch of women through our jabs and parries and upper cuts. I know he likes me already, (the goofy one with the curly hair who always gets everything wrong)  – I often make a right when he says ‘left’ etc. I reckon he’s already talent spotting me for his next female champ. I can throw a punch or two when I’m ready.

Mr A teaches us with a sexy black chic called Perry who is some sort of of martial arts expert and boxer. She’s cool and has hot-pink boxing gloves. (I intend to buy the very same gloves some time soon). The classs are a mixed bag, tattooed fatties, women in Hijab, me and my rag tag flunkie west london mates. Emma Wallace, film maker, in her purple velour Miami housewife tracksuit, looking like a big purple seal, sexy Katy Lynton, artist,  with her punk hair and lantern cheekbones, Julia Bell, author and wise-talking confidente.

There are a handful of serious female boxers there too. These chics can box. They can do press ups on their knuckles. They can skip properly. And when they box, they dance and weave just like real (male) boxers. They slam the bags and have muscly arms and look trim and fit and wear boxer’s boots and woollen hats just like Rocky Balboa. Actually, one wears a Hijab. An impressive bunch.

We want to be like them.

After the session, we walked to the Morrocan cafe nearby and ate bean soup and falafel. We gossiped. Then Emma walked back to her baby Lois. Katy rode off on her bike. Julia walked back down Ladbroke Grove. I came home to my trusty coffee percolator and my laptop. I will settle to some writing tonight – maybe work into the blue hours. My hands hurt and they do pong a little too, of eau de jockstrap.


~ by moniqueroffey on February 22, 2009.

One Response to “The Pugilist”

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