Ker-pow! Boom! Kablam!

I was beaten up yesterday… and I loved it.

How’s that for an opening?

If I were 15 and I started an essay like that, my English teacher would love it. It grabs the attention of the reader with a dramatic first image followed by an unexpected reaction.

If my mother read it, I imagine she’d sit back, possibly clutch her chest, and call my Dad. “I always knew he was kinky, but really?” Please note that my mother often describes me as “kinky”. To her it means “offbeat” or “colourful”. I haven’t told her what it means nowadays. I figure that it’s kinder this way.

Anyway, enough tangents. Basically, the news is that I went boxing yesterday.

The day hadn’t started very well. I woke up at the perfectly respectable time of 8:45, ready to face the day. Then I had my breakfast and arsed around my room for a while, figuring it was ok to have a lazy morning as both Monday and Tuesday had been long days. Before I knew it, it was 10:30.

Now, the cleaner comes every morning between 10:30 and 11:30, so even though I was ready to have my shower, I chose not to. I hate emerging from the shower to find our cleaner, a friendly middle-aged Englishwoman who smells of cigarettes and disinfectant, standing there, rubber gloves and steaming bucket at the ready, to clean up after me.

While waiting for my shower I decided to put on a bit of internet TV. This got thoroughly distracting. At about 12:00, I got an email from my weekend employers, saying that my payment had been processed for the course I gave the weekend before last. At that stage, I decided there wasn’t much point in leaving home till the pay hit my account. Then I’d have enough money for lunch. I didn’t want to be wandering around campus hungry.

It was almost 2:30 by the time the money was in my account, and it was almost 3:00 before I’d left home. My PhD friend who had promised to go boxing with me was beginning to think I wouldn’t show up at all. She sent me a message to check.

I was very tempted to write the entire day off and tell her I wouldn’t bother coming in, but the angel on my shoulder somehow won out and I said I’d meet her there.

It’s months since I was at boxing. It started with a series of stretches and running-around-type aerobic exercises. Fine. Tiring but fine.

Then he paired us up. He split me up from the girl I’d arrived with as we were both newbies. I was with a tall boy. Let’s call him Aqtar. Aqtar was very friendly and talked me through the punches.

His sweat smelled of cornflakes.

Aqtar called me a “big guy”. I usually don’t like being called “big”, but he had a strong posh Dublin accent and said “big goy” instead of “big guy” and this made me giggle.

He didn’t go easy on me. I had to keep my guard up. He kept explaining to me the different ways a fist would kill me if I didn’t. We switched between punching the palms of each other’s hands and pummelling each other’s bellies.

Yup. That’s right. We had to do some high-speed punching of tummy. He put his hands behind his head while I beat his solid abs. Then I tried not to cry while he punched my flabby midsection mercilessly. We did this over and over again.

I liked the metaphor of someone punching my tummy. I’m saying goodbye to the stretchmarked, pale, wobbly, hairy blancmange of a belly and everyday I’m moving closer to the unnaturally bronze abs of Peter André in the Mysterious Girl video.

It did hurt though. It hurt bad. Today, I have a giant bruise there the colour of a blackcurrant. The sixth or seventh time he beat my stomach I looked around. Nearly everyone else was boxing the air near their partner’s belly. Not making contact. Some of the stronger boys were beating each other’s stomachs. But most people were being polite and doing no harm.

They obviously don’t want to look like Peter André.

Eventually the session finished with a series of impossible exercises. As everyone collapsed one by one, I didn’t feel to bad about not being able to bring my knees to my chest. Or to lie down and lift my bum to the heavens.

I’m going back tomorrow. I’m a glutton for pain. Very kinky, I am.

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