The final event at Boulder Startup Week a few months ago was Founder Fights. A bunch of founders got in a boxing ring for a real, USA Boxing sanctioned event (three rounds, two minutes each). To see a two minute version of what played out, take a look at this great video montage from the event (I make a startling entrance at 0:52 in the video.) It’s worth clicking through to Vimeo if the security settings don’t let it play in your browser.)
While I’m not a boxing fan, this was an incredible experience and one of the most energizing three hours I’ve had in a long time. Carrie Barry and her partner Kirsten Barry run The Corner Boxing Club in Boulder and I’ve done a little sparing there. My friends Jerry Colonna, Dave Mandell, and Chris Marks are regulars and Chris wrote a powerful blog post about why he boxes.
Carrie and Jerry did a great Reboot.io podcast on Carrie’s journey and why she is motivated to do what she does.
The experience of combining a set of local amateur boxers and their supporters with the Boulder startup community getting behind matches with folks like David, Chris, and Nicole Glaros was really inspiring. The event ended up raising $56,000 with $21,000 going to Blue Sky Bridge and the balance to other local charities. I hope we do it again in 2017 and have heard a rumor already that we’ll do it at Denver Startup Week in a few months.
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 …