Boxing in Boulder

I spent an hour yesterday at The Corner Boxing Club. I spent an hour with Carrie Barry (the founder) learning the very, very, very basics. And I got an incredible workout that had me in bed reading – after a bath – by 9pm.

I love trying new things. Often, I only do something once if I’m not interested in it, but I’ll definitely be back to The Corner Boxing Club. I loved everything about it – the vibe, the place, Carrie, the workout, what I learned, and how it felt.

After awkwardly walking into the club with my street clothes on and a running bag full of workout clothes, Carrie found me and pointed me at the Men’s locker room (which is a bathroom in the office building they are in.) I changed into completely inappropriate, uncool, and wrong running clothes, including a new yellow LuluLemon top that I recently got and my orange Asics running shoes. Carrie pretended she didn’t notice.

Her first question to me was “how many fights have you gotten into.” My answer – two. The first was in third grade. A kid was picking on me and I turned around and punched him in the face and flattened him. The second was in eleventh grade. My friends had turned on me for a year (I don’t remember why) and one of them (Drew) was pushing me around. I turned around, punched him in the face, and flattened him. I’m a mellow happy guy but apparently there is some primal rage buried deep somewhere. Carrie’s response was to grin a big grin and say, “Cool – so you aren’t afraid to throw a punch.” I didn’t respond, as I’d never thought about it and didn’t think two childhood random lucky left hook connects counted for much.

She took me through a 10 minute warm up that had me dripping sweat and my muscles burning at the end of the backward bear crawl. My warmups at Revo are much easier – suddenly I missed them.

She then spent the next 20 minutes taking me through the basics. I learned the boxing stance, the idea that I should think of it like dancing, and how to jab with my right hand and punch with my left. Some of the motions felt familiar because of tennis and I quickly realized how much of it was in the legs.

I spent the next 20 minutes with gloves on dancing around on Carrie’s command (1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 3, 3, 1, 1) and then doing 1, 2 combinations into her mitts. When that ended, I was physically done, but I still had more to do.

We went into a caged area, she gave me a baseball bat, and told me to hit the shit out of the hanging bag. She gave me a demo and then I went after it – probably 70 or 80 swings. Exhausting – but man it felt good.

As I got in my car, I remembered to send a quick note to my friends David Mandell and Jerry Colonna who had bought me an hour of boxing as a gift. My first hour was awesome – and – I’ll be back …

  • Two as well. I remember this kid in high school. Short red haired bully type. He’d been teasing me for months and he and two friends cornered me in a bathroom one day. I had had enuff so I grabbed him by the neck, threw him up against the wall and squeezed HARD for about 30 seconds. He was shorter than me and couldn’t reach me while I was holding him. After I dropped him with his eyes popping out of his head, he and his freaking out buddies ran out.

    The second was walking home from the bars in Iowa City one night in college. A crowd of maybe fifteen kids mixed boys and girls passed me. The trailer was another short kid who was really drunk. We ended up dancing around each other in a circle with the crowd yelling. He was so drunk he couldn’t land a punch so I just avoided him until one of his friends jumped in. I recall kicking him in the face or something and running off.

    I have this feeling boxing would be a good way to burn one’s frustrations…

  • I’m sure a therapist wld have a field day w/ this, but I’ve been in maybe 40 fights, cld be close to 50. I ‘won’ abt half. I have scars on my face from a couple, spent a few nights in jail after bar fights etc. Not exactly stellar stuff.

    This is an embarrassing thing to admit as an adult, but there it is. Why? Where I grew up, influence of older bros, influence of their friends… I went thru a period where I didn’t tolerate much from anyone.

    Many of the later fights involved coming to the aid of others when they were being bullied. I am proud of that, but it’s still a weird road that got me there.

  • David Mandell

    Bear crawl!!!! So glad you went.

  • Roger Anderson

    We use an Xbox for exercise and we found the simple boxing game to be the best workout. Arms and legs get used up.

  • Watch Gennady Golovkin. GGG. A master of his craft.

  • Life has all sorts of amazing experiences waiting to be discovered – I’m glad you enjoyed one more of them!

  • So cool! I’ve been meaning to try boxing and squash for a while. Thank you for sharing this!

  • The stamina required for boxing and traditional wrestling is pretty amazing. After a short time in the ring, the gloves get heavy!! It is still required at all the service academies since it is the last form of self defense when you are in a tight situation. Trying new things is fun, and why I invested in and They have Dabble in Denver.

    • As long as we are being honest about fights… last one was when I was 27. I was playing hoop, and this kid was playing extremely dirty. I stopped, and just told him I had played a lot of hoop and I’d fuck him up if he didn’t cut it out. He was huge compared to me (I am 6’5″) He kept it up and I snapped. As I was running through the lane he had is head down and was working my midsection. I drilled him with the most vicious elbow I ever threw and he went down. I really hate the counter adrenalin rush you get post action.

      Of course, we aren’t talking about the times we got our asses kicked. That happened to me a few times too…..

      • That is always my question to people that talk about fights. I ask that’s great you kicked some ass but when did you get yours kicked.

        My favorite was my old neighbor was ex-Pagan who had done very well. Full back tattoo, Jessie James Chopper, with a death head brain bucket helmet. I would always tell the baby sitters if something goes down you call or run to this house next door.

        They would look at the Christmas Tree outside adorned with 100’s of Budweiser cans and say what???

        One Christmas playing pool, with a group of software friends, he was talking about fighting. So I said Rob, tell me about the times you got your ass kicked.

        He laughed so hard and said I love giving a beatings but I have taken some vicious ones too, he had an hours worth. Our favorite was when he said he hit this big biker right in the jaw with his best punch and the guy just looked at him. He said “then I covered up and took my beating like a man”

  • jerrycolonna

    Welcome to The Corner, my friend. So Mandell and I are planning the investor vs. founder boxing matches. Get ready.

    Seriously, check out this podcast conversation I did with Coach Carrie…

    • jerrycolonna

      Oh, and I busted Salvatore Quartucci in the nose when we were both in eighth grade. I broke his nose. And then there was the kid who dared throw rocks at my little brother Johnny. And of course there were the fights with brother Dom…yeah, I’ve unloaded a few punches in my day.

  • Around 2010-2011 I went to a gym that had a boxing class two days a week. It was taught by a former fighter and we would do tons of mitt and bag work.

    I grew to really love it, it’s such an intense workout and a great way to blow off steam. I never wanted to spar or do anything serious but just “boxing training” is a blast. I still have my gloves and I’ll box again if I ever get bored with hot vinyasa yoga.

    What a great gift! (And next time leave the lulu stuff at home!)

  • Next learn to hit the speed bag. Work up to 20 minutes (no stopping) and you will need someone to drive you home.

    • If your hands aren’t taped, your knuckles and fingers might be pretty sore too!

  • That’s two more than me. Unfortunately.

  • Elizabeth Kraus

    Made me smile. Do you know about 9Round in Boulder? Boxing style workout, but you can stop by at any time and just jump in to a trainer led workout. Sue is their biggest fan. Nice option for busy schedules. No need to reply to this, just FYI

  • Boxing is the best workout! After a couple more sessions, you’ll be ripped!

  • DaveJ

    Funny – we’ve never had the fights conversation. I had a couple more than that, but the most memorable proceeded exactly like yours – went for the face, knocked them flat. We nerds don’t like to fight, but don’t hold back if we are forced to…