I started Kickboxing.
I’m pretty sure I mentioned this before but I’m not what you would call athletic. The idea of exercise stresses me out. As a child, I really wanted to be the sporty type. I tried out for all types of things like basketball and track. During the track try outs I remember the coach asking if I wanted to try shot put. This was after he saw me dying about 3 mins into a run. I knew this was his nice way of saying that I was never going to be on the team. I was a cheerleader for a brief stint but I’m not sure if I ever really enjoyed it. I think I just wanted to wear the uniform as a symbol of being included.
Now pushing 35 (humor me), I realize that I need to exercise. I no longer have the luxury of a teenage metabolism. In the past, I’ve joined so many gyms and paid for membership I never used. It was always a huge waste of money for me. This was partly because I couldn’t motivate myself to get there and partly because as soon as I started getting out of breath I told myself I couldn’t do it. So much of this is mental.
I noticed a new business coming into my hood so I thought I would check it out. Truth be told I filled out the information request online months ago but never did anything. Then about 3 weeks ago I decided to sign up online. As luck would have it, I entered the wrong phone number in the information form. This was an accident but I think it was the universe telling me something. See, because of the wrong number, I had to walk into the studio and talk to the folks at the desk to set up my first class. Truth be told, had I not met them and talked to them in person it would have been really easy to put off going to the first class. If you are like me, it’s hard to do things for yourself but when others hold you accountable, shit gets done.
My First Class
So I went to my first class at I Love Kickboxing on South Street. Here are some thoughts I had during that hour. Pretty much in order.
Why am I doing this?
Do I look weird?
They scream a lot.
Why do people look so excited?
Maybe this won’t be that bad.
Dear God, they are starting with running. I haven’t run since the last big sale at Macy’s.
High knees? What the hell?
You want me to kick my butt? Like my foot is supposed to make contact with a cheek?
I need a drink. Water will do.
He is still screaming.
What is that bell noise?
I’m supposed to make a 90 degree angle with my knee, touch the floor, and stretch the other leg at the same? Am I gumby?
My pants are too tight? They are literally rolling?
Jerkface, that is why you are here because of the tight pants.
Does my stomach look huge right now?
Stretching is hard.
Straight backs are hard.
Butterfly legs are hard.
Why the f’ am I breathing so hard?
Are my lungs exploding?
Jesus I’m out of shape.
There is the yelling again.
How is everyone so happy? Do they know I’m dying?
Is my ass sweating? I think it is.
My hair is literally dripping wet and all up in my face.
I NEED WATER.
Time for the gloves? Wait? We didn’t even use the bags yet? That means I have like a whole class to go yet.
Can I really be this out of shape?
My pants are rolling still.
Ok punching I can do that.
I punch like a wimp.
Philly girls can do better.
I’m going to throw up.
What the crap is the difference between a jab and a cross?
I feel like this is harder than dancing.
People are still screaming.
Oh dear Jesus, I have to kick this thing.
I can barely lift my leg.
Still going to throw up.
How do I remember these combinations?
Fighter stance? I’m not sure which is my left leg anymore.
People are still happy in this class.
Ok I need to go throw up.
False alarm. Turns out I just needed to restart my heart.
Ok I can do this. I can punch the shit out of this bag.
Jab, Jab, Cross mofo.
Step out and lift that leg.
Should I be feeling this much pain.
Why is everyone so nice?
Are they laughing at me?
Surely there have been more out of shape people than me?
Oh God, what if I’m the worst they saw?
I have to step it up. I can’t be the worst.
Jab, Jab, Upper Cut. I think that’s it.
Step out, point the knee, kick that bag.
I’m pretending this bag is someone I hate right now.
God Damn that felt good.
I kick like the bag is made of glass. Have to work on that.
Jab, Cross, Upper Cut, Kick.
I may be getting it.
My pants are still too tight. I don’t really care if they fall off at this point.
I need water.
Last round? Did he say last round?
Did I survive?
Holy crap they clapped for me.
Do I look embarrassed? I’m embarrassed.
That’s it. I did it.
Next time, I will own that bag.
Does that mean I’m coming back?
Can I can come back tomorrow?
That was fun.
They are all so nice here.
Maybe I’ll be good at this?
Can’t wait till next time.
Did I just go through 100 emotions?
Am I smiling?
What they hell is happening to me?
See you Friday.
(leaving building) I will be the Goddess of Strength soon enough!
I’ve been to a few classes now and although I still go through a range of emotions, I’m enjoying it. Much more than I thought I would. I think about it during the day and try to practice my form on the days I’m not there. I’m learning.
I’m learning to appreciate my body and let it do what it needs to do to heal and feel strong. I may not be an “athlete” yet but I can find enjoyment in the movements. I want to see how far I can push myself … one jab at a time.