Why your first time sparring will totally suck, and still feel awesome

So you’re new to boxing.  Maybe you’re a 30 year old and joined a gym a few months ago to cross “combat sport? off of your list of things you want to experience
or maybe you’re the 13 year old who is picking up boxing at average pace but still a little nervous about that first time when you get in the ring.

Your coach has told you, “hey you have a moulded mouthpiece right? On wednesday you are going to spar.”  Don’t worry lad, you’ll be able to borrow the cup and headgear from the gym, I am almost certain your boxing club has a few lender pairs for you.

That’s just the first part. It’s going to suck. You’re going to put on the most disgusting piece of leather, saturated with that body juice. How many people’s face grease packed this thing, dried out, and billed up every pore of it, again?
If I had to guess it’s probably a sample size of a small Midwestern town, maybe just like the one that you come from.

That’s just the thing that reintroduced your cheeks and forhead to a case of what I call late onset secondary puberty.  Your face will be a breeding ground for new acne
before you ever get the chance to sport a new tough looking black eye, or “gym make up” as I like to call it.

So that’s the headgear, ever borrowed a cup before?
Now luckily, these ones you’ll be using go over your gym shorts, but you’ll still feel a little silly as you step into a picture frame jock strap style ball bag protector
warn by all the boys before you.

That’s the housekeeping, silly logistics, side of things.

The sparring is going to absolutely suck.  I mean, you’re going to suck.  But you’re going to absolutely love it.

You’re going to feel like you can’t do what you want your body to do.  By that I mean, you’re body wont yet be able to snap out a punch as fast as your mind would like it to.  
Your reflexes will probably be delayed and you will be hit by shots that make you look like a child paying the puffy barbell sword fight/lancing game, in an inflateable moon bounce pit.

This might be an opportunity for you to feel something you’ve never felt before.  As modern men in a modern world,  we don’t find ourselves truly tapping into our fight or flight senses with any form of regularity.  You probably will have a tingle in your senses, a rush, a panic maybe, it’s ok.  It’ll look like shit but at the end of it you will be grinning.

I just did that, I got punched in the face, I punched someone back and in the face.  You’re not a tough guy, not yet, so hold your horses before you snap a picture of #firstdaysparring for your IG story.

But you did do something, that most people don’t try.  And fewer even, go up and compete.  

So is this something you want to do? I hope it is.  

And remember your first sparring is going to suck, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. 

If you’re still thinking about it or have already decided you’re going to go get some of that here’s a Boxingtldr Blog Post called Beginner’s Checklist.

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