Day 270 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

I went to my monthly Book Club meeting this morning after an absence of two months. Oh how good it was to be back. One of the longest attending regulars (9 years) declared it the best Book Club she has ever attended and we all heartily applauded and agreed.

I never realised how much I missed the Book Club meetings: the cut and thrust of debate about books, half the time straying off the topic onto other unrelated issues and getting into trouble by the Librarian for doing so!

It was one of these ‘off the track issues’ that captured my attention today.

We were discussing the differences between men and women in the middle of the 20th century when the girls in the household had to iron and clean for the boys in the family. This led to a general discussion about brothers and sisters.

At this point, one of the ladies in her early seventies told us her story: “My father believed in teaching us to be disciplined so he insisted on us girls and boys learning to box each other.” Done under his supervision of course.

Wilma told how she would try to box her brother but he would put his head down and as one of the rules was no punching on the neck, he would fight the whole time crouched over with his neck exposed to his sister and so she was unable to really effectively ‘fight him.’ It all seemed crazy to her and didn’t seem to achieve much.

Is she using the Wii Fit?

There were questions I wanted to ask but I never had a chance as the whole room exploded into laughter and cries of  “What? Boxing your brothers?!!”  This did seem to be too unbelievable for words but the tale quickly came to an end as all of us ladies (and Joe, the one man present) were still reeling as the meeting was called to order.

You cannot imagine, looking at Wilma – now an older woman –  boxing!  She looks as if she wouldn’t hurt a fly. But then folks, it would appear that looks and age can be deceptive as the next story I happened upon today will attest.

After the Book Club, a few of us ladies and Joe went to have a bite of lunch, and there Joe told us that his mother – now 86 years old – has been boxing in order to keep fit. I think a personal trainer came into it somewhere too, but there was no getting away from it: here was a grandmother boxing!

Joe told us a delightful story. His old mother was putting on her hand wraps before donning her gloves when these two young men walked in, took one look at his mother and gave each other a ‘certain look’ as if to say “what’s this old bag doing boxing? This will be hilarious.”  

Well,  guess who had the last laugh? Who was still going strong punching the Speed Ball while the two men were on the floor puffing and panting from the effort? Joe’s Mum of course!

A speed ball to punch

Oh how I loved that story. Again, we were all aghast at an 86 year old woman being keen enough to WANT to box. One of the middle-aged women present declared she would like to take up boxing too and was going to enquire where she could learn. I think I was the only one present horrified enough to want none of it but not before one of the others suggested it might be good for me. Really?

Now folks, let’s get serious about this. I COULD NOT THINK OF ANYTHING WORSE TO DO THAN LEARN TO BOX! There … have I made myself clear enough? Have I spelled it out? It is not for me … but then again, it must be for some women mustn’t it or else this 86 year old women would not be going off boxing and shaming all the young men around the place.

In fact, I decided to Google “grandmothers boxing” and did not see as many stories as I thought I might but there was one story from the Rwanda “New Times” which had an interesting article on women boxing:

“A few weeks ago we were surprised to see women old enough to be our mothers and grandmothers on TV being taught basic boxing, to keep them fit and be able to protect themselves from the ever increasing sex predators!

These grandmothers are taking the training in their stride, despite the harsh reality of age factor. We saw them punching the bags with vigour, running and even jumping up and down during the exercise.”

Now don’t forget this is in Rwanda but you get the picture don’t you? However, I find it hard to believe that here in Australia, Joe’s Mum would be boxing to keep predators at bay but I am damn sure it would help!

Perhaps I should re-think my opposition to learning folks? In fact, the three of us middle-aged women were all impressed by Joe’s Mum and declared that we wanted to be like her when we were 86 years old too. Joe said it was easy: JUST TAKE UP BOXING …

No thanks Joe! But in conclusion I must tell you that I came across a photo of two boxing Granny statues which were selling on a website and the blurb beside it really made my day. I will leave you with it so you can have a laugh at us old Grannies:

“We do not know whether they’re fighting over who stole the last bus seat, loose change or their old men, but these Boxing Grannies sure are miffed! When you buy them, you are guaranteed two squabbling Grannies for life! (For those of you lucky enough not to have them for real!)

Kitted out in the latest and greatest Granny-gear, the fists of fury on these old ladies is sure to give you the shivers! Whoa. Wouldn’t like to meet them on a dark night! They love a crowd and will more than happily perform for your office or home audiences! So buy them now before they either kill each other or one ‘goes to a better place.”

And that folks says it all …