First kickboxing class on Wednesday night…and it kicked my ass, over and over throughout the hour until I was left feeling completely drained, with a slight hint of nausea.
But let’s back up. Me and my friend showed up half an hour before our session began to have a quick talk with our trainers to discuss what our goals were, what we could do to achieve them, and to pick up our gear. During the discussion I mentioned that overall weight loss was not as important to me as toning up was. The reason? Over the years I have learned that the scale is evil. I could be working out for weeks on end and see no difference, or worse, my weight going up! I am well aware of the fact that this is usually due to muscle being built when you start working out again, but despite knowing this, I still can’t help but feel completely discouraged. Because I see no difference on the scale, it makes me feel as if I spent the last month accomplishing nothing. What I prefer to do to monitor my changes instead is to take my measurements every other week or so. A half inch off there, an inch off there, I just want to see that my body is toning and tightening and screw the scale. Maybe I’ll check it after the first month. (Having said this, you’d think I would’ve checked my measurements prior to beginning but I unfortunately could not find my measuring tape anywhere. I have since bought one and will be monitoring my measurements before I start my second session.)
At this point we were both super excited to get started, with just a little hint of dread lurking deep down inside of us whose existence we kept trying to ignore. What was there to be fearful of anyway? It was only 1 session that would all be over in an hour. And so began the 15 minute warm up:
- 3 minutes of jogging – “Ok, not bad, I’m no runner but 3 minutes isn’t going to kill me.”
- Jumping Jacks
- Squats – “Starting to feel like I was nervous for no reason, I can totally handle this!”
- Frog Squats – “Ok, never tried these before, but I got it”
- Push Ups- “HA, yea ok, at least I can do the modified ones on my knees.”
- Walk Out Push Ups – “I’m starting to think the trainer lied when he said he’d take it easy on us.”
- Bicycle crunches – “Ok, catching my breath again.”
- V-Ups – “Huh, I do have abs buried somewhere under here cause they are screaming right now…”
- Burpees -“UGHHHHH, enough said”
- 8 count Burpees – “UUUGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!”
- And repeat everything again –“I might be having a stroke.”
At this point I’m staring at the door wondering how easy it would be to sneak out….
To be fair, we were warned that the warm-up was the hardest part to get through because it is just 15 minutes of high intensity exercise with no break. And while 15 minutes may not sound like a long time, it felt like an hour to someone like me who has not had to exert that much energy in years… So we get a minute to cool down and stretch after the warm up, grab a quick sip of water, and on go the gloves.
The rest of the class was spent learning how to correctly punch, jab, cross, and kick and we practiced on the punching bag first and then with each other. The hardest part I’d say is just trying to remember to hold your form as you make each of your movements. While it was not nearly as intense as the warm-up, we were still working up quite a sweat and were at the point of complete exhaustion by the time the hour was up.
But surprise!!! As a last minute cool down we had to participate in partner push ups and sit ups. Basically in a partner push up, we face each other, complete the push up, and then high five each other with alternating hands after we come up. This went on for about a minute. For the partner sit-ups, we just hooked each others feet in to support ourselves as we came up and high- five each other. To be honest, nothing felt quite as amazing as struggling to come up for that last sit-up and high- fiving each other. The session was finally over. We were done. We survived. We felt exhausted, sweaty, nauseous, and at the same time absolutely amazing. Our adrenaline level was spiked and we rushed to register for our next session, Saturday at 10am.
What really got to the me though was looking around the room and seeing everyone else with their red, sweaty faces trying to catch their breath at the end of the class. Some of these people have been taking kickboxing for months now and still, they struggled to get through it. To be honest, coming into the session, I was worried that I was going to be watched and judged for my inability to keep up with everyone else but I truly didn’t. Everyone struggled at some point and it just felt good to know that I completed this with them. Maybe not as well as I would have liked, but I still gave it my best shot.
It is now 2 days later and every part of my body hurts – arms, legs, back, chest, abs, muscles I didn’t know existed. It’s like I’m on fire. But it’s ok. This is my body telling me that I should not have neglected myself for so long. This pain is my fault and I accept responsibility for it. And now with each session, my muscles are going to tear and repair trying to form the body I should have had all along. The only thing I can do now is to work my way through the pain and keep my goals in mind.