Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Private Lesson on the Subtle Art of Kicking Your Ass

Change can be good. Today I happened to stumble into my first class at the gym and I enjoyed it.

I had just completed one of my typical weight lifting routines and was on my way up to the cardio floor to do my usual routine when I noticed they had moved the exercise bikes used in the spinning class to the boxing gym. Wondering what became of the boxing gym, I went over to investigate.

There were two people in the gym, but no boxing gear. I figured they axed the boxing gym and were putting in another type of gym.

The trainer saw me and motioned for me to enter. I hesitantly did so. Turns out he’s the new boxing instructor and they hadn’t finished putting the new and improved boxing gym together.

But he asked me to stay and join his class.

What class I asked, looking around – there were just three people in the room – the trainer, his apprentice and me.

He told me usually he gets quite a bit more people, but for some reason, no one showed up this time around, so he was just training his apprentice. But he said it’d be fun to try – it was free – and it would prep me for the next class.

I thought about it.

It’s been years since I took any fitness classes at a gym. Many years ago I used to join everything from kick boxing, yoga, step and I killer cardio, and boot camp abs to name a few.

I enjoyed classes back then – the group atmosphere was very supportive of everyone, and it was fun to learn new moves and ways to exercise.

I’ve been so busy working on my own routines, I haven’t bothered to try a fitness class in ages.

So, I thought, hey, why not – and I joined the boxing class. If you can call it a class, it was more like a personal training session, as it was just me, the apprentice and the trainer.

The trainer showed us a move, the apprentice then demonstrated the move and then I attempted the move. It was a lot of fun. We did some core workouts (abs, oblique’s and lower back) and then we did some cardio.

The cool thing about this, is it is actual boxing. Most gyms I’ve been at had kick boxing, or some other non-contact form of the sport. They don’t want to take on the legal liability if someone knocks out someone else in the class. They usually have special boxing gyms where that’s all they teach.

Here though, I was in an actual boxing class! A class where they teach you how to kick butt.

At the end of the class, the trainer says he always ends the class with a mini competition. As there were no other students, I went head-to-head against the apprentice.

We had to do a calf-raise and keep our legs straight and raised just six-inches over the ground. The loser was the first person to drop their legs to the ground. This is a really good exercise for your abdominal muscles – the trick is to focus on your breathing and not think about the burn.

I’d done lots of these calf-raises in the past, but didn’t know how I’d do as this was my very first class – in years.

But surprisingly I won – and the trainer says – says – he buys the winner a health shake. Ahem – still waiting for my shake – but I really enjoyed the class.

I think I’ll go to the next one Monday night – even though I don’t like hitting the gym on Mondays – too busy. But hey, I deserve a free health shake!

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