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The Reality of Training with your Significant Other

You know what they say, that couples who train together, stay together? I've never really thought much about the reality of training with my significant other (S.O.). Clad in our repeatedly rotated Onyx shirts, a daily ritual for us is to wait for each other at the Onyx bus stop before strolling into the gym together for our usual boxing training with Coach Iskandar. Life is the repetitive cycle of school, Onyx, home, school, Onyx, home. Rinse and repeat.


Training with my S.O. is not exactly considered a romantic experience. As we are both fighters, training has to be focused and professional, eliminating any forms of distraction. Forget the winks and the air kisses; instead, it’s filled with poker faces and hardened expressions.


It is human nature to be competitive, at least for us, it is definitely instinctive of us to be competitive. I remember times when things turned sour in a split second:

A very typical boxing date for us at Onyx.

Typical training session while doing drills together:

*gets caught by a good punch*

*progressively starts to hit back harder*

*shit starts to get real*


Those moments would leave us giving each other the stink eye and reduced to bad moods thereafter.

Doing drills or sparring with your S.O. is a very different experience from say, partnering a regular gym boxing mate. It is every so easy to lose control of your emotions or get a little (or super) ticked off. Getting caught by punches from anyone is already hard to swallow, but believe me, it’s even worse when it is by your S.O. The competitive spirit sometimes gets to the better of us, when both of us want to be the “alpha”. Being on the Onyx Boxing Fight Team, I guess competitiveness is in our blood. So when faced with each other, it can become a brutal race to the top, or a fight to the death of sorts.

Training brings out the best in our spirits, but also the worst in our temperaments, and we’ve definitely had instances when we wanted to knock each other out, stone cold.

Natasha's S.O.'s look; both of them are within the Onyx Boxing Fight Team


Despite the aforementioned frustrations, there are magical moments that bloom with time. We get to bond over a lifestyle which not everyone will understand. The aching bodies, the fatigue of training every day, it all becomes a confirmation of quality time spent together. Waking up with soreness from training, I’ll ask my S.O. if he’s sore too. He’ll reply with a yes and it will be the beginning of an exchange to compare which parts of our body are sore.

Maybe 'sore' will be our always, and our ever after.

On top of that, we have both seen each other at our worst. Literally. Sweaty bodies, exaggerated panting, knotted hair, and the not-so-pleasant smell. Whenever I remove my head guard after sparring, my hair looks like a rats nest and I couldn't care less, because I would be panting away. I guess you can say it's validation that someone truly loves you when he says “still pretty” after looking at you post-training... Or maybe he’s a damn good liar, for which, I might just decide to murder him at the next sparring.

Another perk of training together is the constant motivation and energy we feed off each other. Be it pushing each other to go for runs when our legs are heavy and tight, or simply looking at each other with worn-out faces and lips protruding awkwardly with mouthguards. I know I will always have a him looking over my back, and that whatever I’m going through, he’s going through too.


At the end of the day, through all the hardships delivered by our dearest Onyx Boxing, we've emerged stronger together.

We see each other's progress individually as fighters and learn new skills together. Fortunately for us, it is a discipline where both of us are equally determined and on the same page.

What I have learnt from training with my S.O. is to remember to leave your ego at the door. #onyxquotes. To not let pettiness drive a wedge between the both of us. Boxing is already a tough sport as it is, so why make it tougher? Instead, respect each other as fighters and as individuals. Support each other in times of difficulty and value each other’s feelings.

In the toughest moments, we thrive together. Despite gruelling trainings, despite the box jumps and suicide sprints and hard sparring, we still manage to walk out of Onyx, fist bumping everyone along the way, phones in hand checking the bus app for our respective bus arrivals.

And we do it all over again the very next day, while agreeing with each other that we would not trade any movie nor dinner date for it.








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