icepack

Getting in Boxing Shape: How Many Ice Packs Does One Need?

I would like to pretend otherwise, but after my first boxing class I hurt so badly I could not sleep soundly for about five nights in succession.

I would wake up in tears just trying to roll over in bed. I did that thing where you hook some part of your body that isn’t in severe pain (foot? elbow? fingers?) over the edge of the mattress and try to haul the rest of your body into a less agonizing position before falling back into an exhausted half-sleep.

And it isn’t like I wasn’t in reasonable shape, either. I could easily run a 5k and I went to the gym two or three times a week. I’ve given birth three times at home with no drugs; it hurt. Getting over my first boxing class was worse.

After the initial shock I began to adjust. I was able to go to one class a week, then two. For the first three months or so I needed an icepack pretty nearly every time I came home. Since I have three boys, we already had one standard-grade icepack in the freezer. It stays cool-ish for about 15 minutes and has soothed many a contusion and more than a few sprains, strains, and black eyes over the years, but I had no idea just how small and inadequate it was until I started boxing.

My local drugstore got me the hookup, though. I gratefully and without whining paid fifteen dollars for a Serious Icepack, the kind that is wretchedly, blissfully, miserably ice-freaking-cold for a good 80 minutes or so; nothing nambypamby about that bad girl. You can do unanesthetized surgery on yourself after using that thing for a half hour.

It has one slick and exposed-to-the glacial-ice side, and one covered-by-fabric but still arctic side, plus a looong industrial-grade four-inch-wide strap with Velcro and a buckle so that you can affix that mother to your dying flesh and still be able to mix a Bloody Mary.

Problem was, the Serious Icepack was frequently a great boon to my shoulder, but my wrist or elbow or knee would still be crying silently in the waiting room, begging to be moved out of triage and into the trauma room where people were paying attention.

So I went back to the drugstore and got a second Serious Icepack.

And truth be told, there were times when I wasn’t ashamed to have three ice packs on various parts of my body doing their stop-the-pain routine. But I was actually too much of a weenie to return to the drugstore (although on reflection, I could have gone to a different drugstore) for another ice pack so I just used peas.

Peas are great. Not arctic circle great, but still pretty decent little helpers. I kept some at work too. No one notices that you’re defrosting dinner on your knee if you roll your chair up close to your desk.

Image by Juan-Vidal on Flickr

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One Response to Getting in Boxing Shape: How Many Ice Packs Does One Need?

  1. argon(one) November 15, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    I love this story! It reminds me so much of our household. My wife and I have two daughters, both of them very active with running and soccer and kickboxing, etc. And my wife… I feel safe with her at my side in the roughest of neighborhoods. She is nearing black belt in taekwondo. She is also a kickboxer. Many nights I have worked her muscles and massaged out the knots. Icepacks are a common occurrence in our house. There are three in our freezer right now just waiting to be pressed into service. But the peas. I don’t think we’ve ever used peas!

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