Thanks to Facebook, I will never forget a memory — or in this case, my kickboxing-versary. That’s right. It has been a year since I took up kickboxing. As a former equestrian, with no prior martial arts experience, I never thought I would enjoy kickboxing as much as I have. The class has challenged me both mentally and physically — and the results speak for themselves.
The workout: In one word — intense. Even though I have been taking the class on a weekly basis, there are still some days when the workout just wipes me out. The warmup consists of either indoor running or shadow boxing, push-ups, and jumping jacks. By the time I get through the warmup, I’ve already gone through half of my water! Next, it’s time for some actual kickboxing — usually with a sequence of punches (jab, cross, hook, and uppercut) and then kicks (front kick, side kick, and roundhouse). And just when you think you’re done, it’s time to partner up for some relay sprints, sit-ups, and of course, more push-ups.
The benefits: I couldn’t do a single push-up when I started the class. Now, even though I hate them with a passion, I can get through a few sets of push-ups (before I need to cheat and drop to my knees). I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my overall stamina as well. I used to have to take frequent breaks between exercises, but now I can make it though the hour class without them. And my muscles are no longer sore for days afterwards. Last week, I attended two kickboxing classes. A first for me!
The results: I love taking my weekly Saturday morning selfie. But more than having an Instagram-worthy image to post, it’s helped me document my progress. My biceps are much stronger than they’ve ever been. And now that it is almost time to hit the beach, I am really proud of how far my abs and core have come.
The takeaway: Trying a new workout can be intimidating. There have been plenty of times during the year that I’ve wanted to quit (and some months where I was less disciplined than others). But by sticking with this workout, I’ve tested my body and my mind. While I don’t always love waking up early on a Saturday morning, having a workout buddy has made it more enjoyable (thanks, Fran!). So, if there’s a workout you’ve been wanting to try, I say go for it. And bring a friend along. It just might become what you look forward to all week long!
Have you tried any new workouts recently?