Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind

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SUNY Press, Mar 30, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 206 pages
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“I peered through the Venetian blinds in our den, with its view of the playground next door, and watched mournfully as the popular girls played softball. I wanted to run fast, hit hard, and wear a cute uniform. These girls seemed to know something about life that I didn’t.”

When Binnie Klein took up boxing in her midfifties, the reaction from friends and acquaintances was always the same: “You?” Why, after all, would a middle-aged Jewish psychotherapist with no previous history of athletics take up boxing? In Blows to the Head, Klein offers a provocative tale of an unlikely contender whose unexpected fascination with boxing takes her beyond the ring and leads her back to her roots and to a surprising chapter of the Jewish immigrant experience. With candor and wit, she reveals a series of memories and insights that would never have been possible if she hadn’t been drawn toward a pair of boxing gloves during a physical therapy session. In a story that will captivate and inspire women and men, athletes and nonathletes, Klein shows us that if we turn over the “weird stones” on our path, the ones we usually ignore, we may find ourselves on an unexpected journey that will summon vitality back into our lives.
 

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Contents

Prologue
1
1 A Dirty Sport
5
2 Women
13
3 Vos is Dos?
23
4 Take me on
31
5 Love me Love my cigar
43
6 A joy to be hidden
49
7 An endless scream
61
12 Making contact and collective rage
111
13 Mind over matter
123
14 Namesake
131
15 Combat
137
16 Pain and violent zen
145
17 Annie Oakleys anxieties
153
18 Still a mans world
163
19 Let my people box
173

8 Requiem for a heavyweight
73
9 Risks
81
10 Siblings
95
11 John calls the fight
101
20 Poet laureate of plainview
181
Coda
189
Acknowledgments
195
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Binnie Klein is a psychotherapist in private practice in New Haven, Connecticut, and a Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University. She also hosts a popular weekly music and interview show on WPKN radio.

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