So, I was sick last week, so Monday night marked my first night back at kick-boxing in over a week. I am paying for it now. My thighs are still screaming at me today. Our instructor, a fun and enthusiastic woman with what I suspect is a vaguely sadistic streak, had us doing all manner of high kicks and lunges. Freakin' lunges. And I get to go back tonight.
Don't get me wrong. I'm in pain, but I love it. Years ago, I couldn't have done what I do now.
Back when I started on the first leg of my journey, I realized that to get this to work I was going to have to, you know.. get active. I've never been real fond of that whole moving around and being active thing, having always been drawn to more sedentary pursuits such as reading, tv watching and sleep.
I started slow. I'd take walks everyday on my break. I'd park at the far end of the parking when I shopped. I took the stairs in my apartment building, especially on laundry day. Four or five trips up and down a flight of stairs carrying a hamper definitely felt like a workout.
Walking gets boring, so I decided I needed to up the ante. I had joined gyms in the past but always found them boring. I needed something that didn't feel like work.. something I could do that would be fun but also force me to be active.
I joined a women's softball team. This year will mark my fifth season.
Later I took 3-4 months of belly-dancing lessons. Unfortunately, they are no longer offered in the area as my instructor had to give up teaching due to a slipped disc. Sad. I enjoyed the dance class because it taught me a lot about how my own body moves and taught me that, various imperfections and all, my body is sexy and can move with grace. I used to come home from those classes feeling very sensual and relaxed and kind of in lust with myself.
Roughly a year and a half ago, wanting something more challenging, I went to a kick-boxing open house. The first class killed me, but I felt like such a bad-ass that I scrounged the money together and signed up for a three month course. The first few weeks, dead in the middle of July, were rough. I whined and bitched and moaned through each class and limped my way up the stairs to work the next day. But I kept going back.
When I started, I could struggle my way through maybe 5-6 from-the-knee push-ups. Since then I have done thousands upon thousands of push-ups (or so it seems!). I've gone from being close to tears after 20 crunches, to being able (with great effort) to struggle through close to fifty straight push-ups. I've also learned I can take a round-house kick to the face and not cry. And I can punch, kick and spin my way through a 20-move combination barely missing a beat.
I've learned to appreciate how it feels to sweat, to work my body to its limit. So I'll go tonight, even though my muscles are still cursing me, and I'll bitch, and moan and shoot Jill dirty looks when she calls out "15 Burpees!" with a smile. And I'll come home tired but feeling good that I haven't given up. It still has to be fun, though. If I'm not having fun, I can't be arsed to take the pain (and by pain I mean the good pain...I don't want to injure myself). If you're struggling for a way to be more active, find your fun and as you progress you may want to try new things. Being active doesn't need to be work, and if it doesn't feel like work, you may be more inclined to stick with it.
|I'm all Chuck Norris n' shit.|