XO-LP // Laura Palmer

A Love Letter History.

Pete Peterson and the night we boxed to Adele.

Dear 28,
On Monday Jenni and I trained with UFC fighters.Seriously.
I'm not much of a fighter. I do like to argue, but I can't say I've thought much about hitting something or someone when I'm angry. (I'm not even that great at being angry... I'd say I'm better a crying or whining. Or singing angry fighter songs.) After a couple weeks of pent up frustration though, boxing it out sounded oddly appealing. Jenni googled "boxing class Des Moines" (a far less complicated sentence than I would have used) and landed on RoundKick Gym. In his email, Pete Peterson told us we get a free trial class, to wear shorts/tshirts and that the class was barefoot. That's pretty much all we knew before tonight- other than the address of the Urbandale Gym (we actually had to print out directions to get there.)

We walked in after a short sit-in-the-car-and-give-each-other-a-pep talk moment to find a real gym filled with vein-popping-muscly dudes. The floor was covered in blue mats, a boxing ring sat in the back and it smelled like a middle school gym. Had we done our research and actually poked around on the RoundKick Gym website, we would have learned that fighters (like real MMA and UFC ones) often train in Muay Thai Boxing, that Pete Peterson is a serious badass and that "Thai training methods develop devastating power, speed and superior cardiovascular endurance."

Pete greeted us asking "did you girls bring clothes?" and then pointed us to the women's "locker room" where we broke down into a fit of giggles. Only two other ladies were in the room when we arrived, one an obvious fighter with her hand wraps and toned arms, the other a high school girl who sat in the corner hiding behind her bangs until class started (when class did start, the fighter woman thaiboxed with a man who will be in a fight in April, keeping up with his kicks and shuffles and the other girl boxed with cheetah print gloves). At promptly 7:15pm we bowed with the group of nearly 25 (mumbled "Sawadee" with the pleasant muscle man next to us- a sign of respect and a traditional Thai greeting- although I believe we used the masculine version of the word instead of the lady one) and jump-roped using these fake jump-ropey cord things for three whole minutes, and then, well then we punched each other. 

We were clearly the least trained thaiboxers in the room-- certainly not a class for beginners-- but Pete kindly gave us several combos to try out, including a few that included kicks. We slipped our hands into seriously sweaty gloves and pads-that-you-punch and began to jab and hook and bob and weave. Around us dudes were doing foot grabs, spinning elbow jabs and sweating, a lot. Pete demonstrated how much more a kick using your shin hurts than a kick with a foot (I have the bruises to prove it) nearly knocking me into the man dummy (an actual plastic man thing). Near the end of the class we'd finally mastered the punching sequence and even Pete said "if I had three hands I'd give you three thumbs up" in reference to our kicking form. 
I'm pretty sure I have some battle wounds (Pete said dudes think that is cool) and Jenni and I certainly experienced something we'd never have seen before. It might be the most badass I've ever felt- must be the gloves. Sawadee.
xo- LP