Thursday, April 26, 2007

Style and Conditioning

One bonus of pounding the road since the New Year to get ready for the Childline Challenge is that it's made me confident enough to try other things knowing that, though I may be no spring chicken, I'll probably have have enough in the tank at least to get through them without making too much of a twit of myself.

With that in mind - having played five a side and been mountain biking in the last couple of weeks - I went along to Muay Thai on Monday, and came out with renewed respect for my little one (picture left) who's been doing it since last August.

The meat and potatoes of the training comes after skipping, stretching and shadow boxing. You tape up your hands. Could anything feel more gladitorial? Then - working in pairs, the hitting begins.

First we have "conditioning". Conditioning consists of being battered about the forearms, shins, and latterly the midriff with a Thai pad.

After that, you work on combinations; punching, kicking, kneeing and elbowing pads held by your partner, then swapping gloves for pads and having the favour returned. This is amazingly tiring, and to my surprise, holding the pads to be hit is easily as taxing as doing the hitting yourself.

It goes without saying that two hours of Thai boxing builds up a tremendous thirst that I was happy to slake yards away in Venus as soon as we finished.

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