Dillon Giancola: Hurry hard — My foray into curling and boxing


Trying new things is great, and getting out of your comfort zone is a positive experience. When it’s sports related, it’s even better because there’s little downside. So when I decided to take up boxing lessons and join a curling team, I was a lot more excited than I was nervous.

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Sports are fun. You meet new people, you let your competitive side show through, and you get out of the house. That is, at least when it comes to curling. Boxing has been a bit of a different experience so far. It’s more like working out than it is a sport, and it took me a while to finally start. Now that I’ve taken the plunge, I’m excited and look forward to getting much better at both boxing and curling. But let me tell you, man am I sore.

First, a few caveats. I haven’t worked out in more than a year, and am out of shape, so I was bound to be sore and was expecting it. Also, I get tired when I run to first base, so there’s an idea of what we’re dealing with. The other thing is, I’ve only actually played one curling game — or is it match? – so far, to go with one boxing class. Go ahead, laugh.

In the coming weeks I’ll be taking two to three classes a week to go along with a curling game. I wanted to start out easy, but it sure doesn’t feel like I did.

Also, I know what you’re thinking: curling? How do you feel tired from curling? My excuse is that it was the night after boxing. I wouldn’t dare write this column if I just curled. I’d probably still be sore, but you wouldn’t see me tell all of Fort St. John about it.

As far as my game, I’m not good at throwing the rock yet. I can get an OK line, but I can’t figure out the correct weights at all. The only thing I can do is sweep fast and sweep hard. Trust me, when you get to the other end of the ice and your skip says, “hey, good job sweeping!” it’s the most underrated feeling in sports. But sweeping can tire you out too.

As for boxing, I can only imagine when I’ll be able to skip a rope for 10 jumps consecutively. I’m not even going to bother dreaming of doing those crossover things. I couldn’t do them when I was eight and I sure can’t do them now. I feel like the cardio and stamina is the biggest thing I have to work on. I’m not athletic, but I love sports, am incredibly competitive, and love learning and trying to get better.

I have a good understanding of the different techniques and punches I’ve learned so far, and that part is fun. The part of shadow boxing backwards through cones then doing 20 pushups followed by a couple burpees is not.

This is just the beginning, both learning these new sports but also writing about it. Just think of how good it will be when I write about taking my first punch to the head, or, better yet, when I knock my first guy down.

If you thought I was insufferable when talking about the Toronto Maple Leafs, just you wait.

Dillon Giancola covers Peace Region sports for the Alaska Highway News. Email him at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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