You know that statement: do something once a year that you have never done before! I think it was the Dali Lama that came up with that one. Well I decided to go with that suggestion to see what would happen!
Exercise is very important to me, but since lockdown, I became very bored with just walking. While I really enjoyed visiting my locality and finding places I didn't know existed, something more challenging was beckoning me.
I joined a few classes to see if my motivation to move would return. Cardio Kickboxing took my attention so off I went and joined up. Well when I say terror entered my body, I really mean that. I began to overthink it! Would I have to actually connect with someone and hit them? What equipment would I have to use, Oh gosh that wasn't feeling too good then. Well the answer is none, no equipment, it is simply kickboxing moves.
I must have looked the way I felt, because the instructor came over and asked if it was my first class. How do you feel about it he said? I don’t think I’m able to do it, I said. He replied, great well if that's what you think then you are right. Keep telling yourself you can’t and you will not succeed. Shock horror, a man telling me that!! Just do what you can do, step out if you are out of breath but don’t pace yourself or you will never get aerobically fit. But if I think you are not working hard enough I will tell you and if you don’t mind a bit of slagging off, everything should be grand. So I replied no problem as long as he didn't mind a bit of slagging off in return. He said I think we are going to get along really well.
He came over several times during the class to check out if I was alright. That’s the job of the responsible instructor to see to it that the class participants are safe. Punch harder he said, I couldn't! Think about someone you want to box the head off! He roared laughing. What, me a complementary practitioner, perish the thought!
Later on he shouted over, well I see you found someone and gave me the thumbs up, more laughter!
I have a certificate in fitness instruction, albeit a very old one. The ways of working have changed, the equipment has changed, but the basic information remains the same. So I know it's true about how you need to train if you want to become fit. Don’t cheat yourself he says regularly, do it to anyone you like but not to yourself, and then a big laugh! He has a great sense of humour!
Well that told me I thought to myself. Reverse psychology always works for me, so I was going to show myself what I could do, not anyone else. Of course it's a cardio class, so that means movement at a fairly high intensity and creating lots of perspiration. If you are trying to improve your fitness, you must work three times a week, at a rate of 70% above your normal heart rate for fifteen to twenty minutes if you want to become cardiovascularly fit. Kickboxing movements encourage the body to use all the dormant muscles that are not used when you are sitting in front of a laptop or on the couch for that matter. The workout brings extra oxygen to the brain, therefore helping with the prevention of early dementia. I thought that was a very interesting point that he made.
You turn your body into various rotations so all your muscles are being engaged and bouncing at the same time! Well the bouncing bit is still arriving! Besides discovering that I must have three hands and five feet, the coordination was tough to learn, and I am still learning. But that’s what you work towards when you start something new isn't it?
Most importantly for health and fitness it’s a must to have fun. That I am definitely having, even if it's a good laugh at myself in the mirror in the studio making a total mess of it!!
What I found interesting is, the amount of women over the age of 65 that are attending this class, it’s astounding. Women Power. All ‘going for it’. No ‘posers’ at all. I was welcomed in by several of those women, delighted that another was joining up.
It’s kind of an unspoken understanding that women of this age, who are past menopause, cannot move, are overweight, get very complacent and wait for death!
Not the women in this class! I hear them getting involved in all sorts of ‘challenges’ they are superfit. They look really happy, that says a lot. One woman told me that she was never going to depend on someone else for her health and wellbeing, wow that's fantastic.
The class finishes with a lovely mindfulness meditation and body conditioning. A really nice way to ‘gather yourself’ after exercise.
At the end of the first class, the instructor asked me how I was and most importantly did I enjoy it, and was I intending to return. Of course I did. I really felt like I moved and had fun as well. If you don’t enjoy it there's no point, he said. And of course he is right. (Did I just say that about a man, what’s come over me!)
So if you are thinking about taking up a hobby or an activity that might be challenging consider cardio kickboxing, it’s great fun and will facilitate you to become superfit! Powerful women!