St. Mary’s Boxing Club

von Felix

There is a variety of clubs and societies at the ITT and they play a major role in college life. The college even employs someone who coordinates all the activities.
Islam Society, Christian Society, Football, Rugby, Gaelic Football, Hurling, Badminton, Table Tennis, Golf, Mountainbiking, Athletics, Mature Students, Ultimate Frisbee, Teakwondo, Basketball… it is really not easy to decide what to do. Like almost all of the Erasmus students, I joined the International Culture Society (InCuSo). In fact, this is just a code name for the Erasmus-plan-trips-and-partys Society.

But I wanted to join one of the sport clubs as well. Tom suggested to try boxing. Although I’m not really interested in punching somebody in his puss, the idea of working out a bit sounded great. So we both signed up and met the other members of the club last Thursday in front of the main building. One of them showed us to the gym, which is quite a walk away from the college (unfortunately the ITT does only have a football field on its campus). After some minutes of waliking we stood in front of a small gym: „St. Mary’s Boxing Club, Tallaght“.

It’s a shabby place. The undersized dressing room’s floor was full of litter. A pair of old shoes, some empty plastic bottles, a dirty wife beater, wrappings of energy bars. Ah, l’odeur! Cold sweat and piss.
The coach showed up: a small man with a nose that must have seen the hospital several times. He told us to get in the ring and do five rounds of shadow boxing. The Irish students pretended to be very professional and made noises while punching their imaginary opponents (Sssh, sssh, hm, hm) and we felt a bit awkward and out of place, because we did neither pretend to be boxing pros, nor did we make any noises.
Afterwards half of the students worked on the bags, while the other half – including Tom and me – skipped for another five rounds and the two of us really did bad on the rope. Not only, because we lacked skipping rope practice: the ropes were a just bit too short for us. After five rounds (each two minutes work, one minute rest) the groups switched sport equipment and we slipped into the gloves that were already damped with sweat. Another five rounds of punching the bag later the coach asked us to do some very old-fashioned groundwork on the gym’s dirty wooden floor and delivered a brilliant motivational speech („if you want to drink pints, fine…“).
We survived the first, but by far not the last, training, which could have been part of some bad boxing movie of the eighties, and went home to wash the dirt off and get rid of the stink on our hands.

The training on Tuesday was very similar, but for some reasons our skipping rope skills had evolved over the weekend. Unfortunately I could not attend this Thursday’s training, because I had to pick up a package at the DHL office in the city centre. When I arrived, they told me that it was not there, so I took the LUAS back to Tallaght. All in all, it cost me about two hours and the lads at DHL should be grateful that I did not practise my new found boxing skills at their place.