Tuesday was an incredible day. I was invited to PEAK Performance in NYC for a boxing session with Ngo Okafor – a TWO TIME back-to-back heavy weight Golden Glove champ, who is also a male model… I know, boo-hoo me. It is weird that I had never been to PEAK before, I have friends that train there and I have been hearing about what an incredible facility it is for a few years now, but somehow I have never made my way over. It was about time.
When I walked in I was kindly greeted and shown around the awesome facility. What an incredible space, I’ve been to numerous training facilities in NYC, but none this large and with this much to offer. It has everything you can ask for (including my fav’s – prowler sleds, battle ropes, heavy bag), some of the top trainers in the world train there and it has the A-list clientele to prove it.
After being shown around and placing my things in the locker, I walked back to the front where I met Ngo. Just by meeting him you can tell he is not a man that is bothered by intimidation, he is a two time, back to back Golden Glove champion and he wears it well. He did not seem cocky about it, just practical and real. After asking me if I was ready… and my almost always reply of “always” we got down to business. And, by business I mean he rolled out my calves with The Stick (I swear that’s the name, I have one sitting in my corner). I had gone running that morning and my calves felt like someone was jabbing knives in them. However, that knife jabbing pain was nothing to what I felt as he rolled out my calves… that was just the introduction to our session. As I stood up from the calf rolling, I felt like a new person. Like he had literally swapped out my calves for someone else’s. It is incredible what some serious stretching/foam rolling etc can do.
Ngo said the he heard I’d boxed previously, now while this is true, that was over ten years ago and I am beyond rusty, like the rust that falls off the bottom of your car and gets left in the dust, rusty. Or, at least that is what I thought I would be like. As he put the wraps on my hand, I started feeling something I hadn’t felt in years when working out. I started to regain that feeling of being a warrior. The excitement of having wraps put on your hands tightly, just to have punches soar freely. It is a beautiful and exciting feeling.
We slipped the gloves on and started to go. We started with strictly jabs, circling around the room a bit, me getting my bearings and Ngo getting a feel for where I was skill wise. He is an incredible trainer, you can tell that he truly sees the person in front of him, instead of just a client. It wasn’t about getting through the session with me, it was about me getting the most out of the session and that is hard to come by with a trainer. This session was no joke, as if any boxing session ever is. Jab, cross, jab, cross. When we finished a round it was time to do sit ups, lunges and push ups then up to do another round. It is interesting, when I boxed years ago, it was about being the strongest and fastest. This time, it was more about being the smartest – being more efficient. I went from throwing the hardest punches I could, to just doing touches for a while – and I’ll tell you that is almost just as hard as throwing the punches. Ngo was very explicit in explaining how doing touches – where you just repeat the sequences of punches by hardly punching – can be just as important as actually throwing the hardest punch. That was a crazy concept that really resonated with me. Mental prep, repetition, strength, dedication, endurance they are all equal pieces to the puzzle. YES, I got all that from just this session. We went from the touches to throwing punches, to more lunges/pushups/situps to me ducking and moving. It was incredible.
The next day my knuckles were raw, my sides sore, but my mind was clear and there was a smile on my face.
All in all. the day was amazing. I regained a passion that I had misplaced, but never lost. I went to an incredible facility, that if you are looking to really change your life and your body, you must check out and I was able to train with a two time heavy weight Golden Glove champion. I mean just doing one of those things would have been incredible, being able to experience both is something that I won’t forget and I suggest you take the chance and get in boxing sessions with Ngo at PEAK.