Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind (Excelsior by Binnie Klein

By Binnie Klein

A provocative story of an not likely contender and her midlife transformation via boxing.

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Extra info for Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind (Excelsior Editions)

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50 In Mr. Kanowith’s class, the black girls take a particular glee in slamming the white girls, and they are better at it. I get hit in the stomach by a tall girl who laughs as she vacuums all the available breath out of me, and I drop to my knees. I try in vain to stand up. From the wall bench, Mr. Kanowith, his arms folded across his chest like an army drill instructor, yells, “Stand up! ” School is divided into morning and afternoon sessions, and because we live right behind the school, I can come home for lunch and begin my plea.

They’d say. Why are you so shocked? I wanted to ask, Is it because I’m older? Because I’m not trim and fit? Because I’m a woman? Somehow the aggression or intensity B 23 required to hit was understandable coming from a man. But, with a woman, it was an anomaly. Why on earth would a woman want to punch? Or be hit? Or was it something else altogether that people were thinking? Maybe they don’t think my profession fits with the sport. You’re a therapist, they scold, as if reminding me that in choosing my career I was to be denied the physical plane altogether, a brain suspended in a tank like in a 1950s science-fiction movie.

Or was there some big French boxing match going on? ” I excitedly told Scott. “Ah. Great,” he said. 33 When you are first joining, a gym is like a sales convention. Smiles are broad, handshakes are extended, there’s a sexy vibe in the air. Fit World, however, was a seriously no-frills operation and offered no such welcome. This was where I met John, at his last job before he opened his own club. I had dressed for a possible workout in case John wanted to “check me out” right away, to see if I had any potential—loosefitting drawstring pants, running shoes, and a tank top, nothing special.

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