Just like a school of fish or a dazzle of zebra find power in numbers, when you’re in a group you can hide away, too. Sweating alongside ten other guys means that there’s only a ten percent chance that the predator catches you. So you go down on your knees while in the push-up position, or you stay down while doing a sit-up… It’s just human nature to want to slack off when the instructor moves down the line, right?

Or is it just the natural reaction of the slacker, the jippo, the loafer, the slapgat, the slacker?

I often find myself taking liberties in class. However when I do my one-on-one with Clever there’s no hiding. No resting. No mercy.

Those pads are always coming at me. Straight. Jab. One two. One two three four. One two three four five six…. And they malevolently seek out any excuse to take a swipe at my unprotected head the minute I drop my hands.

Now the thing about touch-pads is that everyone wants to hit them as hard as they can. Probably because they make such a lovely sound when you hit them really hard – Thwack! But this power is useless if you don’t have speed and skill.

Which I don’t.

And so we work on that. Practicing combinations while ducking hooks and stepping back from jabs. Throwing punches with resistance bands in my fists. Throwing punches while holding little dumbbells. Shadow boxing. Then more pad work…

It’s exhausting, everything is exhausting when you’re a slacker, and that’s the point.

The worst part is that just as I think I’m done, and Clever has unwrapped my hands, he then proceeds with ten minutes of the most excruciating PT: burpees, planking and myriad pushup variations. When I stop working, he stops counting, screams “Keep Going!” then resumes counting until I’ve finished the set.

And there’s no hiding. You can’t jippo. You can’t be a slacker. You just have to do it.

So you do, and eventually you’re done. And when you wring the sweat out of your T-shirt and you can barely lift the fresh one over your head – you actually feel quite good.