So today I went to Rocky’s with my sparring partner and friend Mitch for the first time in well over a year. I’ve been so busy taking care of Mom over the last year that I really haven’t been taking very good care of myself. I know that she hated being that kind of disruption in our lives, but honestly, I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

But now I have to honor what she’d want, and that is taking care of myself. So even though I have done zero, and I mean zero, physical activity for so long, and even though the last time I had boxing gloves on was July, it was time to jump back in. I told Mitch he’d have to go easy on me, and he did.

So I got on the treadmill for 15 minutes and then stretched for about 7 minutes. Then I did about 7 or 8 minutes of shadow boxing, just to remember my form and get warmed up. I did about 5 minutes on the double end bag, and just one round on the Aqua bag. (I’ve never used an aqua bag before, and I’ll tell you, I could get used to it. Very solid for punching, but very easy on the hands.)

Then we got in the ring, and Mitch did 3 rounds of pads with me. That sure helped me remember what I was doing in the ring. I worked on form and use of the ring. After that, we did about 3 1/2 rounds of real sparring. That sure kicked my butt wind-wise! But it felt good to get back to it.

One of the things I realized when it was all over and I was heading home in the car was that boxing really opens up my lungs and I was breathing better than I have been in a while. I forgot that getting the blood moving and the air deep in my lungs helps me to feel better.

So it definitely could have been more, but an hour and a half, give or take, is a darn good workout for my first time back to any gym in over a year. I’ll take it. And I’m looking forward to doing even more of this as I reimagine my days off, post-Mom.