Lactic acid -- I didn't know I had it in me

After spending the best part of the last 12 months in relentless state of physical handicap I've been trying to pick myself up off the mat. I do a lot of walking(or,as the dog hears it, "walkies!") as is my want. And I've got my ever faithful dogscooter ...but now I've taken up boxing.

And it ain't half bad. My advantage is that the whole world knows you should never hit a man with glasses. But let's assume you do --and I give you
the old ONE/TWO...and the three and four...and the five and six.

Unlike Mohammed Ali nothing I do with a pair of gloves on could ever make me the greatest. But there is something distinctly enriching to sweat and be wracked by pain under the photographs of Ali and other boxing greats as well as group images of competition amateur teams. This ain't a body sculpture shop. This gym is a converted cement yard under the stewardship of Jojo Tipace veteran of 53 amateur fights across the South Pacific.

I'm doing this for the exercise therapy side of it. But it makes me want to start checking out the real thing a bit even if my first stop is the video shop for a copy of Raging Bull or Rocky.Two years back I had been working in community arts with an indigenous boxing club located nearby at Sandgate. Its trainer lives along the creek from me. And you soon learn that unlike a lot of the no pain no gain formulas, there's no pretense with boxing. It's about hit and being hit. And, in effect, the bloodsport angle gives it a certain urgent edge. But it's such a great leveler. So basic and visceral.

And best of all: unlike a lot of other half hours you could indulge in, boxing is not boring. The zen of the punch. The pain in the deltoids. The speed of the one/two.The weight you must muster as you lunge the fist forward...and then you die.

There ain't nothing as rewarding as getting the old flabbly bod tasted up on lactic acid.

Lactic acid -- I didn't know I had it in me.