Another crazy weekend away from DC. One of my best friends is going into the Peace Corps and had her going away party this weekend up in Pennsylvania. I will share more about that later 🙂
On Thursday and Friday, before I trekked up to Baltimore and then PA, I took part in a two-day training camp to become a Pink Gloves Boxing trainer.
Garret Garrels and Nick Milodragovich
Great pictures, right? I stole these from their site. You can read more about their backgrounds if you click on the pictures. I had the pleasure of hosting these two gentlemen on their first two nights in DC, and I must say that my time with them was truly enlightening and extremely enjoyable. Garret and Nick (I like to refer to them as Garrick) are two of the most genuinely kind people I have ever met. They have a passion for people that is admirable and a quality that I wish to see more in others and also emulate myself. One of the reasons that Garret and Nick are so successful is because they are also good friends–they work extremely well together.
Why Pink Gloves Boxing, you ask? This story is best told by Garret himself, but I will give you a paraphrased version. Several years ago, Garret started training a woman who had had a horrible experience with her previous Personal Trainer. So horrible, in fact, that she fired him. This woman–we will call her Lydia, since I don’t know her name and think it would be easier to call her by a name–disliked her trainer because he would constantly compare her to others and say things such as “Wow, Lydia, you only did 14 push ups today. Samantha did 32.” Lydia felt that her trainer was also beating her down. As a Personal Trainer, Garret knew that this was the exact opposite of the purpose of a Personal Trainer. Yes, you are supposed to help people reach their health and fitness goals, but you are supposed to build them up in the process, not break them down. Garret heard Lydia’s story and said to her “I will never do that to you.” When Garret started training Lydia, he started to incorporate boxing into her work outs. Garret has a background in boxing, so he knew the intense and empowering workout that boxing can provide. Lydia loved these boxing work outs so much that she started bringing her girlfriends along to join. Soon after, Pink Gloves Boxing was born, and it has slowly but strongly spread into universities and health clubs throughout not only the United States, but the world as well! PGB has 3 locations in Sweden!
I have never participated in an in-person training before for a fitness certification. The training was two days long–9:30am-6:30pm on Thursday and 9:00am-6:00pm on Friday. It was long and tiring, but also exhilarating. We learned so much in two days, and I am outlining the main components and my favorite parts below:
There are 8 punches incorporated in the PGB training. All punches are taken from real-world boxing–none are made up! Punches are referred to by number rather than name of the punch. The punches I outline below are for a right-handed person (orthodox). If you are left-handed (southpaw), it’s the opposite!
1=Left Jab; 2=Right Straight; 3=Left Hook; 4=Right (Rear) Overhand ; 5=Left Uppercut; 6=Right Uppercut; 7=Left Overhand; 8=Right Hook. What did I punch with? First, we learned to shadowbox (box in the air) with no equipment on. We then moved onto fierce hand wraps and then, finally, our Tier 1 gloves! In the PGB program, you start with black gloves and then you EARN your pink gloves.
Because we were training to be PGB trainers, we also needed to learn how to hold for a puncher/student. While holding, we use mitts instead of gloves. Holding was one of my favorite parts. It really got me into the mindset of being a boxing trainer, which is just so cool in my mind. I never in my life thought I would be training others how to box.
Creating Our Own Combo
One of the challenges we had during training was to create our own punch combo. My first combo was: 1-2-1-1-4-duck-2-1-2-2. On day 2, we learned some new things, so we had to redefine our combo by changing it around and incorporating new moves that we liked. My redefined combo is: 1-2-1-1-DnP-2-1-2-measure-2. DnP is Duck-and-Pivot, a defense move that reminded me of my field hockey days. Measure is when you hold the person back with your left hand and set up for a 2 with your right hand. Loved the flow of this combo! And the power of the final 2 punch.
Pink Gloves Boxing isn’t just about a work out. It isn’t just about getting in a room and punching things. It is about development and empowerment as well. PGB trainers set goals with their students to reach by the end of the semester. After setting the goal, we identify why we want to do it and how we are going to go about it. My goal: Exercise at least 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes every day. Why? I want to finally form a consistent exercise schedule, to reveal the fitness professional I like to think I am, and to feel healthy and good about myself. How? I am going to accomplish this by writing down time to exercise in my planner, participating in a summer health challenge with my boyfriend and two of my best friends, and replacing activities such as TV watching with exercise.
PGB has a motto that I am absolutely in love with. Revealing the Champion from Within. The idea behind this is that PGB is not molding its students into something different, it is simply helping each student bring out her inner champion that already exists inside of her. Everything we need we already have, we just need to reveal it. We even got a wristband with the saying on it. On the outside it says Revealing the Champion, and on the inside it says From Within. Pretty clever, eh?
Gift from the Heart
During training, we were assigned a secret partner to watch throughout our two days. The idea was to watch for things that this person did especially well. I got the number of a fellow co-worker and friend named Cayley. We like to refer to each other as “work wives” (even though I don’t technically work there anymore!) I watched Cayley throughout the training and at the end of training we presented our “gifts” to each other. What I noticed about her is that she is an extremely focused person. The great thing about Cayley is that she is not only focused on herself. When it was her turn to practice combos, she was so in the zone. When it was another person’s turn, she was still completely focused on that person–seeing what she could learn from that person’s experience and how she could help that person improve. I found this incredibly admirable as it is easy to lose focus when one is not directly involved in the current action. Way to go Cayley!
As I said, this experience was so exhilarating and I am so happy that I participated in it. I truly did feel empowered after it and, what’s more, I think I found a great new workout for myself! Can’t wait to take it to the punching bags 🙂 I was so sore after the first day. My back and posterior delts were tight and burning! It was a great feeling though. I always like being sore when I have worked hard–shows my work! But I still could use a massage.
Thank you to Nick and Garret for a wonderful PGB week in DC!!