In the gym with Boris: Why I’m supporting DC Academy

DC Boxing Club LogoThis week we’ve invited Boris from DC Boxing to give us a few words from the gym floor. Boris may be relatively new to the club, but he is already proving to be a great asset to the club. His commitment and constant enthusiasm serve to remind us why we are putting ourselves through 380 miles of Scottish weather for DC Boxing, so without further ado…

My name is Boris and I’m one of the boxers at DC Academy. With 35 years I’m too old and probably not even talented enough for competitive boxing, nevertheless and though I only started four months ago, I feel very much at home and accepted in the club. There is a really strong sense of togetherness in the gym, probably because everyone feels equally pushed to the limit after a hard training session, regardless how different we may be outside the club.

The challenges are always changing. Right at my first night I thought the coach would be joking when towards the end of the session he asked for 12, then 11, then 10, etc… press-ups and I could hardly do 10. It’s still not my favourite, but now I can do it. And while I just started the training to complement my fitness programme as a runner, I soon realised there is so much more to boxing than hitting a bag. It’s the precise orchestration of technique, speed and power combined with an incredible need for stamina that makes boxing such a varied sport. I think this is where DC Academy has a great advantage: Ivan and the other coaches want to make sure that we understand how to put it all together and practice until it works; they make it clear that just sparring alone doesn’t cut the mustard if you want to be a good boxer.

Boxing and boxing training can teach you a lot, also about yourself. Your limits but also possibilities. In that respect it is probably no different to martial arts. Talent and physical ability aside, some key ingredients are discipline, dedication, and commitment. Hard work. Self-control. Sounds familiar? Of course. Good old values we should try to teach children. It always makes me happy when I arrive at the gym and the Juniors are still pounding the bags. They might not want to see it that way (hey, we’re talking about a bunch of teenagers), but this is where I feel DC Academy makes a difference at a time when the councils close down youth centres and other facilities. The club gives these youngsters something to do, provides them with an opportunity to identify and overcome their limits, to become confident. And I rather have that happening in a bout than bullying others in the streets.

Boris' Shed (Boris not included)

Boris' Shed (Boris not included)

The club’s current location is best described as a shed, and although that has its own charm to it, there is a lot of room for improvement. We’re not talking about luxury. We’re talking about necessities; a new ring, a few more bags, even gloves or skipping ropes. The membership fees are small to allow everyone to enter the club, and I think this is an important and positive difference to more exclusive venues. It is thanks to the great engagement of people like Phill and Heley that we can now plan ahead and save towards a new ring. I’m happy to do my bit, and I hope I could convince some of you to click on that yellow little ‘Donate’ button on the right and make a small contribution towards DC Academy.