Jenny Boxing

More Women Boxing After 40!

In January of 2011 I got some new comments on my post 9 Reasons to Start Boxing After 40. One of the women commenting was Jenny, who is 46 years old, living on the West coast. She had recently started taking boxing classes, lost some weight, and was excited about her next step in boxing: making the move from group fitness classes to private boxing lessons. That’s her in the picture.

Jenny and I spoke via email about how she is choosing to spend time (and money — she’s taken some smart and creative measures to find the money to pay for her gym membership) taking care of herself.

I wish I had learned that lesson long before I did. For most of my life I thought I could never leave the house in the evening or be unavailable to do things for my husband and sons. It was just crazy, but I know lots of women have struggled with that.

Jenny gets it. Her story is filled with the joy of boxing and personal discovery, and she gave me permission to share some of what she’s written here. May it inspire even more women to find their own strength, passion, and confidence!

Keep rockin’ it, Jenny.

*    *    *    *    *    *

I was so nervous about my first lesson. I could tell my teacher was too; we really didn’t know each other that well.

We started from the very beginning and worked on the basics: how to stand, where to put my hands, etc. He likes a more sideways stance to your opponent. It has been hard to get used to because at first I felt that my jab needed to come from a leg twist. Now, 6 classes later I really get how I need to stay grounded and find the power through my legs. My jab is getting better.

The first few lessons we only worked on jabs and straight rights; now I’m up to hooks and uppercuts.

After a jump-rope warm-up, he gets me in the ring and I do some shadow boxing to start so I can loosen up and get my feet working. I feel like such a dork when I shadow box. I need to practice on my own in front of a mirror — I’m still really stiff.

My favorite is pad work. I love it. He moves all around and makes sure that I don’t turn my back on him, that I stay loose and maintain my correct stance while moving around. It’s a lot to remember.

And he’s also big on bopping me in the head. I’m getting better. He was only able to get me about 8 times today before I really blocked him. And that’s down from 12 last time. I made the mistake of telling him, so today he felt challenged to bop me 13 times. But he could only get in 8!! Yeah for me.

I just absolutely love it. It’s my favorite hour of the week!

I don’t even know where I’m heading with all of this or what my goals are. I just turned 46 and I want to keep getting fit and healthy. A still have a few bad pounds to lose and some good pounds to gain.

I don’t know if I’ll ever make it into the ring with anyone, but I’ll see where it takes me.

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6 Responses to More Women Boxing After 40!

  1. Girlboxing February 16, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    The great thing about Gleason’s is there are women in their 40’s, 50’s & 60’s plying the boards and working hard to get where they want to go. Great blog entry — and congrats to Jenny for taking up the sweet science.

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe February 16, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      I have regular bouts of Gleason’s Envy, and someday I would love to make it up there just to meet IRL all the incredible women (and men) who train there. Would you believe I’ve never been to NY? True story. And here I am 45 years old. I need to fix this!!

  2. Dimas March 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    Maybe u can help me out. I trained with Dub Huntly, boxing.Dub is Laila Ali”s trainer. Dub is the trainer that clint eastwood potrays in Million Dollar Baby. He is also Hall of Fame number one trainer.Paul Banky Welter Weight Champion, boxing. Mexican olympian boxing team. Kiyoshi Yamasaki Shotokan karate Maui Tand kick boxing and many other great trainers and styles. I have twenty five years hard training. Like lots of fighters, I still want to fight. Regardless of age. How do I join a fight team or represent myself as an individual fighter. Can u give me some avenues. My interest is ultimate, extrem fighting or Maui tai full contact kick boxing. “Need for Compete” Thank You very much for your time. Sincerely K.D.Dimas

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe March 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

      I can certainly understand the desire to continue to fight, but I’m afraid I don’t have any idea about how that works outside of the boxing world.

      For most pro boxers, getting fights is all about word of mouth — knowing different promoters who will consider matching you on a card; age isn’t relevant unless the commission (the people who have oversight of fights in a particular area) has an issue with the matching of the fight.

      For amateur boxers, once you’re over 35, you fight only in the Master’s category, you must be registered with USA Boxing, and matches are still made the same way. It’s all about knowing promoters who are putting on events and trainers who have fighters in your age and weight categories.

      I wish getting matches were a simpler process, but unfortunately, it hasn’t been that way for years and I don’t see it changing much soon.

  3. Joyce W June 17, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    Hi! I starting boxing training 9 months ago at age 63. I’ve never been athletic, am only 5′ 2″ and not naturally powerful, but oh, how cool this journey has been! Only 4 weeks into it, I started easily popping the lids off jars — I thought they had been improperly sealed! Yesterday I got the result from my bone density scan — bone density has increased by 8.8%. No prescriptions needed for this old girl! Both my mom and my grandma were vigorously active well into their 90’s and it occurred to me that perhaps I should start preparing to be the bad-ass old lady that I hope to be. Many women living alone like me incur falls due to atrophy and poor balance — I don’t think that’s a fate we need to accept. Honestly, the adrenaline rush is what I love the most, though my only sparring has been against guys who were practicing defense. It’s great to know that there are other “wildflowers” out there!!

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe June 17, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

      Awesome, Joyce! I’m totally impressed and inspired by your comment. I’m just about to turn 50, still boxing and sparring every week; can’t imagine NOT doing it. So thanks for adding your voice and reminding all of us just how good this sport can be for our bones, our strength, our general badassness. After 40, 50, AND 60. 🙂

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