Tiring of being cussed out...er encouraged by my doctor to exercise, about 8 weeks ago I started fitness boxing with a personal trainer at a local boxing club. This is the real deal, speed bags, heavy bags, a ring, and all. Basically, fitness boxing means I don't hit anyone, no one hits me...other than that, I train like Laila Ali (left) would for 60 minutes. I love my gym; it has the authentic grimy feel, without the guys with no social security #. (Nothing worse than being a yuppie poseur in my book.) My former and current trainers are competitive boxers, the latter being a WBE belt holder. I have SUCH high esteem for boxers now; it is by far the hardest workout I've ever had.

I guess, to go along with the authentic "Kronk Gym" experience, the club is not air conditioned or heated. I started in late July, when as you may recall, here in the Dirty South we had such a heatwave I thought we'd acquired our own personal sun? Believe me, jumping rope,shadow boxing, heavy bag, mitwork, and sprints take on a whole new meaning when the heat index is 110. I wondered silently many times if I needed to make sure they had my emergency contact info in case I passed out. "And down goes Krista, down goes Krista" I could hear Howard Cosell proclaiming from the great ringside in the sky.

I've taken a special liking to mitt work, because it is the closest thing to actually being in the ring (and the closest I plan to get). Unfortunately my trainer is less than 2 weeks away from their next bout, so no mitts until after that is over. The crowd who trains at my club is very eclectic across all demographics. Everyone from the #5-ranked heavyweight boxer in the world Calvin Brock (who will contend for the heavyweight title against Vladimir Klitchko on Nov.11 in Madison Square Garden), to beauty pageant contestants, to firefighters and policemen, to pastors, to school-age kids can be found studying the sweet science on any given day.