Q&A WITH WEST END AC MEMBER, LYNDA S.

Who said boxing was a young man – or woman’s – sport? We sat down to chat (virtually) with Lynda, a member who is about to celebrate her one-year anniversary of training at West End Athletic Club. At 69 years of age, Lynda was among the first to hit the gym after the club reopened in June following closures due to COVID-19.

We wanted to learn a little bit more about what propelled Lynda into the world of boxing and here’s what she had to say:

What motivated you to try boxing at West End AC?
I was at a very nice club for a number of years that I really liked but that closed very unexpectedly so we were all left kind of floundering. I had always wanted to box; it was the one thing I’d wanted to do that I hadn’t done. So, I thought, what the heck? You only live once. I checked it out and did their week of free classes. I had no idea how much I would love it. That’s the beginning of my love story with boxing.

@annefrazer_to

Have you always been physically active?
Well, I think you need some context here. Just over 10 years ago, I suffered a non-traumatic brain injury. I was basically in bed for two years with vertigo. Nobody knew if I was really going to recover, it was really, really bad. I went to a physiotherapist who was working with people with vestibular nerve disorders. He gave me some very good advice which was ‘make yourself do whatever you can do for as long as you can, and then you rest’.

Before the injury, I had been a Pilates instructor and I rowed at the Argos Club, so I had been pretty active. Five years into recovery, I found RPM (my previous gym) and met a young man who was training (weightlifting) to become a bobsledder. I started training with him. He left the gym a year later and brought it another trainer who I worked with for 4 years, so I was reasonably fit when our little gym went under. I’ve always wanted to box, and I really felt like it was the next step in my movement journey. I thought, ‘what’s the worst that can happen? The worst that can happen is that I won’t be able to do it. That’s it.’

What made you want to try boxing?
Well, first of all, I’ve always liked things in movement that are goal-oriented in the sense that you learn a new set of skills. I was never that interested in just working out for working out sake, that’s why I rowed. Boxing is so good for that. There’s all the footwork involved and all the punching that has to go together with the footwork. You begin to understand all that’s involved, it’s such a sophisticated sport. It’s kind of like dancing, but you get to punch something, if that makes any sense.

So, now that you’re a boxer, what’s next?
In addition to classes, I’m training privately with one of the trainers (Tommy), partially because of my age. At this age, you don’t know how many good years you’ve got left! I would never have thought of that when I was younger but going through the health challenges that I have makes you realize that every day really does count. So, I just want to keep getting better, keep honing my skills. I’m still just a newbie and I don’t know if I’ll ever be in a ring with an opponent, but I like to think that I might get good enough to consider it an option!

If you’d like to witness this powerhouse in action, you can find Lynda training at West End, five days a week!

@annefrazer_to

Arden Jobling-Hey is a Freelance Writer based in Toronto, Ontario specializing in Health & Wellness, Travel and Non-Profit