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Fit to fight: Week 6

Following in the footsteps of Olympic champion boxer Nicola Adams, Lucy Fry gets closer to match day

Lucy Fry

Mon, 05 Nov 2012 12:16:46 GMT | Updated 2 years today

It's becoming a little tired to say that every week of my fight training tops the last, in terms of both challenges faced and progress made but it remains true, and week 6 has been no different and included my first actual knock-down. I don't remember exactly what happened except that I was caught by a punch and found myself kissing the rather sweaty germ-infested floor of the ring. Jumping straight back up, I knew immediately that this was another obstacle overcome and that, whatever happened, I had to finish the round.

 

For many people that might seem the most obvious reaction, but for me it's fairly new; I cannot imagine behaving like that 6-8 weeks ago, but then… so intense is this process that sometimes I can't actually call to mind what my life was like back then, before twice-daily training sessions, regularly getting walloped in the face and even more regularly feeling like I want to dive under the ropes and hide under a bench press. Luckily for me - sorry, here comes another cliché - a problem shared is a problem halved, or, in my case, 'thirded', as I'm going through much of this experience with two other women, both of whom are gorgeous, something which, I'll admit, makes the whole thing somewhat easier to bear…  Firstly there's my coach, ex-professional boxer, Cathy Brown (www.cathybrown.co.uk) whose expertise, dedication and patience have made fight training a fairly profound experience for me. I feel exceptionally lucky in being trained by Brown, not just because of her great skill, but because I imagine it's not everyday you find a teacher who is as kind, generous, humorous and takes such a holistic view, always equally concerned by my emotional health and wellbeing by my technique and physical health.

 

Then there's Georgie 'Big G' Banton, my training partner, also fighting on 16th November in York Hall and coached by Brown (see pic, of Big G, hiding her glee at getting her neck stretched by Brown). Sometimes I feel like Big G and I are contestants in The Hunger Games - the film and book whose central premise is that contestants (a.k.a. pawns in the games) work together to stay alive until, ultimately, they face each other. So it is that Big and I chat happily together about the crazy journey we are on before quickly stepping into the ring to compete against each other.

 

That's the strange thing about boxing though; it seems a contradictory sport to say the least, as full of respect and comradeship as it is of aggression and self-interest. I still smirk at the irony of thumping someone on the nose (or being thumped) and then, once out of the ring, thanking them for allowing (or offering) it. I'm not sure how it is in other clubs, but speaking for our sparring sessions at The Third Space, I can say that boxing is the most gentle(wo)manly of ungentle(wo)manly pursuits; it's about avoidance as much as attack, about retaliation as much as initiation and - most of all perhaps - about attitude as much as ability. Perhaps it's unsurprising then that my own feelings towards boxing training are also contradictory; I love it as viciously as I hate it, look forward to sessions as much as I dread them and want it all to be finished as much as I want it to continue… Like it or not though, the days go by, the fight is on and, with jangly nerves, I can now write that in under two weeks it will be over and - last cliché of the blog I promise - I'll never quite be the same again.

 

Fight night is 16 November 2012. Buy tickets (£25, £35 or £45) at fightformind@yahoo.com

 

If you want to sponsor Lucy "Firework" Fry (all the money raised goes to MIND), please visit www.justgiving.com/frylucy

 

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