New year, new Niall: Ilford reporter is not giving up resolutions without a fight

Niall doing some light sparring with Robin Dupre

Niall doing some light sparring with Robin Dupre - Credit: Archant

Ding ding ding, week two of my resolutions challenge is well under way and I’m pleased to report I haven’t strayed from either of my pledges so far.

Niall doing some light sparring with Robin Dupre

Niall doing some light sparring with Robin Dupre - Credit: Archant

Nearly two weeks into my resolutions – to quit smoking and start boxing – I’ve had three sessions at the gym and haven’t touched a cigarette since the turn of the year.

It hasn’t been all plain sailing, however, as I’ve had to come to terms with my own limitations in the ring, mainly my lack of fitness and strength, and experienced some of the physical drawbacks that occur when you stop smoking.

On Friday I went back to the Art of Boxing, in George Street, Romford, for another one on one with Robin Dupre.

Despite stinging more like a butterfly than a bee, and moving about as gracefully as Bambi on ice, Robin offered great encouragement on what I was and wasn’t doing right.

Niall testing his lungs for carbon monoxide levels

Niall testing his lungs for carbon monoxide levels - Credit: Archant

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I also spent a couple rounds trying to lay a glove on Robin, to no avail, before swapping roles and trying to dodge his jabs.

Embarrassingly I wasn’t the sharpest when it came to dodging and often found myself freezing on the spot like an animal in the headlights about to be hit by a truck – even though Robin was lightly tapping me at about half a mile per hour.

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By Tuesday my aches and pains had worn off and I headed to Gants Hill Tube station, in Cranbrook Road to learn more about giving up smoking from Lyn Hanlon, a stop smoking specialist at King George and Whipps Cross hospitals, which both serve Redbridge.

While the NHS offers patches and nicotine replacements to help people give up, it is also friendly to e-cigarette users and let them access their services.

This was good news for me, as I’ve started vaping, so I decided to take a carbon monoxide test and was delighted to see my reading was three particles per million - the average reading of non-smokers.

Lyn also informed me that my trouble sleeping and bouts of dizziness were side effects of quitting and said it could take 12 weeks for my body to get used to the changes.

Whilst 12 weeks seems daunting at least my boxing should have improved by then ... I hope.

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