Before Kate received her diagnosis I would spend a few days a week at KV Golden Gloves Boxing particpating in Fight Like A Girl. This is a local gym run by Tim Hayes, boxing coach, black belt etc. etc. (click the above link to see more about this gym and Tim's long list of qualifications or visit them on Facebook here). The gym offers ameteur boxing, fitness classes, MMA and jiujitsu among other things.
After Kate received her diagnosis last year I stopped going. If I am being totally honest I used that diagnosis to excuse myself from a lot things. Boxing, eating healthy, and taking care of my general well-being are just a few of things I let slide. It has been a rough year, in my defense, but I know that I have to kick back in.
A few nights ago, I attended boxing again for this first time in over a year, carrying 40 extra pounds (I guess I am a stress-eater) and mountains more stress. I entered the gym with butterflies in my stomach and thoughts of turning around. Would I be able to complete the warm up? Would I embarrass myself on the heavy bag? Would I be strong enough to hold the hand pads for my partner? When we arrived I spoke to Tim about being nervous and he kindly told me that I could work at my own pace and he also reminded me that I was lapping everybody on the couch. Next, I got to work. I started by skipping and tripped up multiple times. I remember the feeling of finally getting the boxing skip down. You know the one where you alternate feet, not the school yard double-foot jump. My rope was tangled up enough last night that I know that skill needs some attention. Still though, it felt really good to be back. I love the workout, as painful as it is, and I love the sport but the real reason I go there is not for the moutain climbers or the squats but for the rounds on the heavy bags and the hand pads. I love the hitting. What a great stress reliever. I don't always picture someone's face when I throw punches (but I'll be honest, I sometimes do, and it feels good), sometimes I just think of something that pisses me off. You don't have be an autism parent to have a shit list. Training at this gym helps get some of the anger out so you can see the issues more clearly. I highly reccommend it.
I struggled and I swore a lot, as the readers of this blog know I tend to do, and I collapsed mid burpee once or twice but I finished the workout and I walked out of there feeling better than I have felt in a year.
Tim also offers a Little Ninja's program for pre-schoolers. I realize this would be Grace's nightmare but our Kate would excel. Tim has years of experience and multiple qualifications in programming for children and I have no doubt he would have no problem handling Kate and her sensory-seeking issues. In fact, the obstacle course possibilities and the padding in that gym would be a sensory-seeking child's dream come true. If you are local, I suggest you go check out this gym. If you are reading from elsewhere (hello people in the UK, my second highest population of readers according to google anaytics) I reccommend finding a place like this to relieve the tension and stress that builds up in all of our lives.