Get your butt kicked in 2012

David Esrati- starting boxing at Drakes Gym Dec 2011

David Esrati the first day of boxing at Drake's, Dec 2011

Nope, this isn’t a post about my 2012 congressional campaign, I’ll win that. This is about those resolutions you made last night while swinging from a chandelier yelling “I love you, man!”

Yep, Americans love to head to the gym every January on a quest to lose weight and get in better shape. Most of the time, by March, we’re back to the same old routine and rationalizing why it didn’t work… again.

Last year I made major changes to my life. Net result, down 15 lbs., feeling better and sleeping sounder.

First up was cutting carbs. Even though I used to live on bread, pasta, pizza and cereal, it turns out that my body works much better without any of them. It’s not been easy- and, you will still see me eating a burger on a bun or a Skyline 4-way with onions, but thanks to the support of my partner in life, Teresa, we’re eating a lot more organic vegetables, fruit and local, grass-fed beef.

Another major change was portion size. What most places call a portion is really two. Bringing boxes home and sharing entrees is almost mandatory now. Saves money, stretches the good food and keeps the weight off.

And while I’ve been hitting my rowing machine, weight bench and running – the most amazing gym experience I’ve ever had came at Drake’s Downtown Gym- taking his boxing classes. As someone who went through Army basic training, Airborne school and the Special Force Qualification course, I can tell you it doesn’t match them- but, it’s as close as you can come for an hour a day without signing your life away to god and country.

From the Drake’s website:

Drake’s Downtown Gym is a full service fitness facility. We open at 6am to serve our downtown Dayton community and early risers. Although we are known for our boxing classes and focus, the gym offers a variety of fitness training opportunities. Our wide range of equipment includes treadmills, bikes, elliptical and other machines that can get your heart pumping. We also have a variety of strength and circuit training equipment, not to mention a great free weight room.

Our gym appeals to those who are serious about working out and not worried about all the frills you find at other facilities.

via About the Gym — Drake’s Downtown Gym.

For $65 a month you can take unlimited boxing classes. All you need to invest in is a pair of hand-wraps (under $10 and available online or at Drake’s- sometimes). Bring a full squeeze water bottle, a towel to wipe your sweat off, and a big dose of humble, because you will be brought to your knees- or at least working them out, in a full body workout which will help redefine your physique and your attitude (hitting a heavy bag like it’s your least favorite person does have a cathartic effect).

You should also dress for the weather- even though it’s inside, I think the only heat generated in the building is off the bodies of the patrons.  I’ve also not utilized the locker rooms since I’ve already experienced the primitive amenities of a field shower at Camp Mackall and have no desire to repeat that joy, but feel free to try them and let me know.

Memberships start out at least half that of the Downtown YMCA, and for $65 a month you can get unlimited beatings, I mean classes which in 30 days, if you go religiously, will have inches off your waistline and definition in places you long since forgot existed. You also will get to hang out with a true Dayton Original, John Drake, who has crazy, brilliant ideas like closing off the street and throwing up a boxing ring and having a party under the stars.

A few tips if you go: show up early to get your hands wrapped and to be ready on time. No whining- of any sort. If you can’t do something- at least be doing something else- at all times, this ain’t a place to lollygag.

So, if you decide to go, tell them Esrati sent you, and then you can have a real reason to curse me for 60 of the hardest minutes of your day. Happy New Year.

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