I am not a professional athlete. Although I was captain of my high school golf team (The Barstow School, Kansas City), my handicap is so high I'm unwilling to recount it in this venue. I'm also not a boxer. Other than a couple classes at a local gym, I had never put on a pair of boxing gloves. So when my boss volunteered me to shoot a "Sparring Video" with an elite athlete, I was understandably scared. But other than the minor head trauma, the episode provided an important lesson. Related: Our May 2015 cover shoot with Lexi Thompson
What did I learn going toe-to-toe with one of the best female golfers in the world? Let me count the ways: __1. Lexi is a physical force:__Her form is imposing. From her sculpted forearms to her powerful core, she is nothing short of a specimen. __2. It's hard to conduct an interview while moving in a circle:__Boxers stay mobile to avoid getting hit. You think patting your head and rubbing your stomach is hard? Try remembering questions and getting punched. 3. Boxing is quite the workout: After approximately 37 seconds in the ring with Lexi, I had worked up a sweat; by the end of the shoot, I was drenched. 4. There's no such thing as hitting like a girl': When Lexi plants her feet and follows through with a right hook, I felt it. The setup might have been staged, but my reactions were not. 5. I'll never be a professional boxer (or golfer), and I'm OK with that: Just as I don't have to have power like Lexi Thompson to enjoy a round of golf, I also don't need to be Muhammad Ali to enjoy boxing as a workout. Provided it doesn't get me killed.
Tony Hernandez is an Associate Producer at Conde Nast Entertainment. If you want to hit him in the head, please follow him on Twitter at @ahernand.* *