I took a boxing class with my sister-in-law in Illinois a few years ago. I punched with empowered glee for the first minute – and then my biceps began to scream. I panted through the entire class. I sweat gallons. And by the end of the hour, I was exhausted. And I felt awesome.

I felt tough, even though part of me wanted to lie down and take a well-earned nap and even though I’m sure most of my punches wouldn’t have knocked over a lamp. I’ve been wanting to find a class like that in Maine.

Lucky me, a friend told me about EYJ Fitness in Falmouth, a brand-spanking-new fitness center that offers bootcamp, kettlebell, combat conditioning and Strike Fit classes (including a women’s-only class), as well as memberships that allow you to come in and work out when/how you want.

Today is their official first day, but this past Saturday, EYJ Fitness had a handful of free classes to say hello to the neighborhood and give us newcomers a taste of what EYJ is all about. I tried Strike Fit. And wow, there was sweating. There was panting. There was a sense of toughness that lingers days later (just like the soreness in my arms and quads).

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EYJ Fitness (EYJ stands for Embrace Your Journey) isn’t some sprawling gym. It doesn’t need to be. There’s line of bags on one wall and plenty of room for planking, lunges and working on your punches. There are also treadmills, bikes, weights and other equipment.

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Co-owner Sarah Tozier (pictured above) said she and Trevor Kell wanted to open a gym that was open to everyone. “We want members to feel like we’re here for them,” she said. “We’re here to support, to motivate.” And motivate they did, helping us new-to-boxing folks learn proper form, proper positioning and how to keep punching even when our arms where begging us to stop.

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Trevor gave us pointers – like staying light on our feet, keeping our hands up to protect our faces and how to turn our feet and bodies to ensure the most power out of each punch.

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On the bags, we split into pairs – one person punching, one person holding the bag – and Trevor and Sarah moved around the room helping tweak our form and doling out encouragement. “Nice job! You look awesome!” Yes, yes we do!

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The Strike Fit class included some circuit training, too. I was reminded how long it’d been since I attempted a plank (it’s been a loooong time). I’d say Sarah and Trevor have nailed the “gym for everyone” thing right off the bat. As inexperienced as I am, I felt right at home – and you will, too. Their drop-in rates are awesome: $7. You can buy at 10-class pass for $55 and a 20-class pass for $100. They also have a monthly membership for $50 that includes unlimited classes and access to the gym (sign up before July 1 and it’s only $40 a month). Note: You do need to bring your own boxing gloves. EYJ is hoping to have some available to buy/borrow down the road, but you can also pick up a pair for around $30 at any sports store.

EYJ Fitness

65 Gray Road, Falmouth | 207-613-9355 | www.eyjfitness.com Find them on Facebook and at www.eyjfitness.com. The website is still under construction, but here’s a link to the class schedule, which EYJ just posted on Facebook.


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