Aerobic Kickboxing; an introduction

I went to get my butt kicked. Tis Kicked.

To be more precise, I feel like churned butter. “Is that a good thing?” my sister asked when I got home. “I dunno,” I replied. All I know is that I am quite sure I tore my innards to shreds and that they are floating what in what is now indubitably a gelatinous composition of random fleshy bits.

My friend Erin and I decided that we would try out some of the classes at the YMCA. Aerobic Kickboxing Monday, Tai Kwan Do Tuesday. We arrived just on time to Kickboxing Monday, found the room, and started to stretch, not knowing what to expect. One other lady walked in, then another. In came Carl, our teacher, sporting a purple tank top and black short shorts—an outfit chosen, no doubt, to show off his bulging muscles. He made our acquaintance, and, unless I am mistaken, looked us both over a few times. “Never done this before?” he asked. How could he tell? I felt immediately self conscious. It didn’t help that the lady in front of me looked like she had emerged from a Buns of Steel video with her cute, little, skin-tight outfit and a figure short, fit and feisty. I wondered if the YMCA had put her there as some kind of masochistic motivator.

Carl strapped a microphone onto his head, turned on some kind of pulsating techno and got us all hopping side to side. The lady in front of me clearly knew what she was doing, because she took the liberty to throw in some punches and kicks without Carl’s instructions. Well la di da.

Carl said at some point during the lesson that everyone moves at their own pace. This was a lie. And it didn’t take long to figure that out. Carl and the music kept our pace. I suppose that is why one goes to a class like that, to make someone else set the pace so that you don’t succumb to the temptation of slowing down when you start to get tired. But it wasn’t only Carl making you do it. In a group like that, peer pressure makes you do things with your body which you would otherwise consider outrageous. It’s the ab exercises and round house kicks to the side that really got me. Didn’t know I had those muscles, but they will surely make themselves heard tomorrow.

Over the course of the hour I got myself in some very unladylike positions and gyrated my body in ways of which I am sure my grandmother would not approve. At these awkward times, I found myself giggling, but my laughter would die out as it got harder and harder and my poor buns started to burn. At the end of each set Carl would say, “And relax.” I found this funny because he never meant it.

The exercise really wasn’t so bad, I suppose. I remember having some really brutal softball practices when we had to sprint up hills as punishment for losing. That was bad. But for this, I think with some more practice I would get better at kicks, swings, and punches. One of the tricky things about this kickboxing class, though, was the coordination required to pull off some of the moves. Think about how difficult it is to pat your head and rub your belly and then pat your belly and rub your head. Well, kickboxing presented a fairly similar predicament. Step, kick, step, turn, touch, punch, turn, step, kick, and so on. It is kind of like a dance, except that you are pretending to kick the crap out of someone. And instead of someone or something, you hit merely the air between you and your reflection on the far off mirror. Maybe other people don’t have this problem, but it struck me as rather goofy to just punch the air, especially when you could see yourself through it. It’s difficult to concentrate and stay intense when you are forced to look at yourself grimacing at the air that apparently must have deserved a good boxing.

I have discovered that I have very dainty fists. Or at least I looked really dumb punching at nothing. Both could be true.

Was it worth it? Ask me tomorrow.

Will I go back next week? Probably.


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