I am a member at a local gym, where they have a variety of group exercise classes available to all members at no additional charge. I've only taken advantage of a few of these classes - the weight lifting class that I talked about last week (remember, the one I have a love/hate relationship with...), a yoga class (that I hate actually going to but once it's over I love it because I feel so fabulous!), and a rare pilates class. I've heard about these great kickboxing classes, but every time I try to go to one (I've only tried once or twice), they've been so completely packed I turned right around and ran out the door.
Yesterday I decided to try again.
I arrived at the gym a full 45 minutes before the class started, thinking that surely that would be enough time to reserve my spot. It was - but let me tell you, the class was jam packed 15 whole minutes before the class began - so I was very glad that I thought ahead and arrived early.
The class hadn't even begun, but already I could feel the positive energy and excitement oozing out of each individual there. People were stretching out, laughing, talking loudly, fast music was already blasting. The teacher of the class was straight out of the movie 'Flashdance' (and all time favorite of mine, if you haven't seen it you should close this blog right now and watch it! I liked her even more because she played a song from Flashdance as part of our workout and referenced it! ), and my expectations were high.
The anticipation is building and my palms are already starting to sweat. The class starts, though half the class isn't paying a lick of attention (I felt like I was back in high school) and is talking away, though the teacher doesn't seem to mind this one bit (not like high school). In fact, she embraces it, jokes around, talks louder, jams up the music, and away we go! Jab, jab, block, kick, turn, side, pivot, jab, repeat.... I'm already lost and it's only the warm up!
See, I guess how turbo kickboxing works, at least at my gym, is that they don't actually teach you the moves - not like in an exercise video where at first there's a little 70's tune and a tutorial about how to jab, block, etc. I think it's more of a 'sink or swim' mentality in this class, and I was quickly sinking. I decided to watch the girl in front of me, and to just try to keep moving for the duration of the class so at least I'd get in a good cardio workout.
The class moved out of 'warm up' mode and morphed into a triple time competition style workout complete with wolf whistles and cat calls, screaming and slapping hands onto the floor. Everyone was having a great time, myself included! So what if I can't keep up? So what if I'm totally faking it? So what if everyone else in the class looks like a ninja armed for battle ready to take on the enemy and I am the, ahem, curvy blonde girl in the middle sweating up a storm? I am the chubby ninja! I will be proud!
And then something amazing happened.
I'm in sync with the class! Doing the ninja moves! Clapping, jumping, jabbing, repeat! It feels amazing! I'm on cloud nine! I'm part of something bigger! I'm..... now out of sync again, as they've moved on to a new move.
It may have only been for 30 seconds, but those 30 seconds will bring me back to that class again. And again. The people in the class were all so encouraging (one nice girl gave me a high five halfway through, I think maybe she could tell I was new... I wonder how!), and I've never before been in an environment where the energy was so positive and uplifting. I see how people can get addicted.
I'm off to do today's workout, more tomorrow! Have you ever done kickboxing? Was your experience similar to mine?