Black Cats can punch their weight
THIS week I've had four Sunderland footballers training with me at my gym in Ryhope and I was impressed with how they got on.
I've been able to spend Christmas back home, working at the Olympian Gym me and my dad set up last year.
Lee Cattermole, Anton Ferdinand, Andy Reid and Nyron Nosworthy are all coming back from injury and they came down for a session this week.
Two of the gym's coaches - Andrew Fisher and Sean Casey - were there too and they did a lot of hard work with them. I think they found it quite tough but they were a little bit better than your average person who had come off the streets for his first session there, probably because they're professional athletes. I was impressed with their fitness.
The idea to spar with some of the Sunderland players came up a while ago and when I mentioned it to Steve Bruce he seemed really up for it.
I don't know how easy it's been for the lads to train recently with all the bad weather, but that might have been one of the reasons he sent them along to me when he did.
It will have been brilliant for them. I don't know what they're training is like at the football club, but I know from my own experience when I do something different it's always good, and they told me they enjoyed it.
They'd all done a little bit of punching on punch bags at the Academy of Light, but everything else was new to them and they did well.
Cattermole told me he's a massive boxing fan and I'm sure they were all a lot better than I was when I did my first ever boxing training session.
I did a round each with all of them and gave them a few shots. Nyron was very strong and tough, Reidy was very clever, Anton was probably the fastest and Cattermole had a bit of it all, he was game.
I think they were all pretty impressed with the set-up at the gym and I'm sure they'd like to come back. Maybe when if do they'll bring a few more team-mates.
We've spent about ÃÂ£20,000-ÃÂ£30,000 on the gym and although there's still a few little things need doing to it, I reckon it's the best gym in the North East - even if I am biased!
If you don't believe me, I'd love you to have a look for yourself. The gym, which is on Leechmere Way, is open to members of the public aged seven or eight upwards. Sessions cost ÃÂ£1 for kids and ÃÂ£2 for adults, and you don't have to go there to box, you can just come to keep fit if you like. Anyone who wants more details can ring my dad on 07747611020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Overall my Christmas was good, although as you get older it's never as good as it used to be, is it?! I was off on Boxing Day and I had a few nights out, which let me spend a bit of time with my mates. Even when I got back from the Olympics, I had so much on I didn't get much chance to do that.
The two things I probably most enjoyed over Christmas was watching the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special and playing Call of Duty on the computer. I think Gavin and Stacey's mint and Call of Duty is like gambling. I've never taken a drug before but I imagine that's what it's like, I'm addicted!