I am a creature of habit, aren’t we all? When it comes to workouts, I build my plans around what I like and what I am comfortable with. I do this with everything in my life, but lately I’ve found myself looking for more. I have been having a hard time pinpointing what exactly I’ve been wanting. I love the way I live, but there is an overall longing for growth or for something bigger and better.
My days look like this: wake up, go to the gym for cardio or lifting (or both,) go to work, come home, practice posing, go to bed. The same rhythm over and over and over.
This is why I jumped at the opportunity of taking my first ever kickboxing class. A 5am class time wouldn’t be the reason not to go, so I hit the road at 4:30am not really knowing what to expect but extremely excited for this challenge. As I pulled in, the other ladies taking the class were just getting there and it was clear they already had a bond between them. Immediately upon walking into the gym by myself, I was greeted by trainers and trainees alike.
The way they welcomed me, you wouldn’t believe it was 5am. Soon enough, there was a full class and we got under way. Warmup consisted of a light jog and bodyweight squats. The typical “tell me more about yourself” talk happened between me and the ladies as we got going. I learned that this group of women had been coming at 5am every morning 5x per week since this newer gym opened and that they all were incredibly sore from the day before’s leg day workout. They all were ready to go for kickboxing, and many of them said this was their favorite class out of the week.
I felt right at home. None of that “who is this new girl.”
As we got done warming up, I looked at the pink boxing gloves and kick pads on the floor just very happy to be there. This was something new and yet it didn’t feel like the overwhelming type of new.
Immediately, we were partnered up based off of height and being 5’10”, my partner was another woman with a very similar build to me. But let me tell you, this girl packed a punch. For a split second, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to match her intensity or even be a good partner because she was more experienced and I was completely new. I offered to be the first to wear the boxing gloves for our first drill just so I could stop thinking.
I don’t know a thing about boxing. I do, however, know a lot about power generation and the mechanics of the body. “Just drive the hips and keep those abs tight, don’t punch with the shoulder, Lauren, you’ll be ok.”
The first drill was 10 punches to target gloves + 1 pushup, 20 punches + 2 pushups, 30 punches + 3 pushups, continued up to 100 punches and 10 pushups followed by a quick run. Switch partners, repeat.
The second drill was 10 punches to a body pad plus 1 knee drive on each leg plus 1 burpee. All the way up to 100 punches, 10 knee drives on each leg, and one burpee. Run, switch partners, repeat.
The third drill was simply 50 kicks to the body pad on each leg.
That was it, it was that simple but it didn’t feel simple. I was drenched and fatigued, but it didn’t feel like an hour long class. I thought it was maybe 30 minutes in when we finally got to stretching and I felt like I could’ve kept going. Don’t get me wrong, my muscles were incredibly tired but time flew by. I hate pushups, I don’t really punch very well, I’ve never practiced kicking or knee drives, running is a weak point for me, and burpees (enough said.) On paper, it looks like I didn’t stand a chance in this workout.
How did I come away with the positivity and excitement I felt after? I literally got my ass handed to me and my partner definitely killed it.
There was nothing but positivity during the whole workout. On my end, I went in with the attitude that I knew I wasn’t going to be good at kickboxing but I was going to give my whole effort anyways. Being good at kickboxing wasn’t expected of me since it was my first time, but being willing to step outside of my comfort zone was expected of me.
The other key factor in coming out of this session with a full heart was the dedication of the girls in the class with me. Everyone was smiling. Everyone was sweating. Everyone worked their ass off. Most importantly, everyone was there for each other. After each round, high fives and fist bumps went around. During each round, each one of us coached and cheered our partner on. And each time someone got tired, we picked each other up, then only punched and kicked harder.
That night, I went and still did my routine leg workout with a tired body but my mind and spirit was completely awake. This morning I woke up completely stiff and sore. My entire upper body is sore (tbh Im used to my legs being sore at this point of competition prep haha.) I still hopped out of bed excited to do my cardio routine. It’s been a little while since I’ve been excited to do my typical routine as I’ve been doing 45 minutes of treadmill lunges and stair climber since May. I’ve been on the same meal plan for months, even on the same lifting schedule, and I woke up excited to hit my routine.
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