So, I tried something new the other day. First of all, I’m obsessed with Groupons and getting a good deal. I peruse the emails whenever they come in and thoroughly comb them for a bargain. I saw one for a local kickboxing studio called CKO Kickboxing that was relatively inexpensive for 6 classes and a pair of gloves. I had done a couple cardio kickboxing classes when I lived at home and always really enjoyed them, so I thought, why not?
The class was different than I expected. I consider it kind of a “choose you own adventure” workout. The instructor had us run some laps around the gym and then made us do classic drills like jabbing, crossing, hooks, uppercuts etc. and occasionally would have rounds called “attacks” where you just do whatever you want for 30 seconds or so. When I first took the class, I’m going to be honest here, I didn’t love it. I didn’t feel like I was really doing anything and the instructor who was teaching made insanely long combinations that I couldn’t follow. Luckily, I went back.
The instructor of a class makes a world of difference. This class was everything I could have hoped for. Instead of spending 10 minutes at the beginning stretching and 10 minutes at the end doing abs, we were working for the full 60 minutes and I was a puddle of sweat at the end. I felt invigorated having really challenged myself. The instructor was funny, energetic, and motivating; the true trifecta of a good coach in my book. Her music selection was good and she was constantly pushing us to do crazy things like a burpee with a push-up into a squat. My legs and arms were burning after her class. So, I bit the bullet and signed up. Honestly, if you had asked me after that first class if I would have signed up for a year long membership, I would have laughed in your face. But the power that I’m feeling when I’m attacking that bag is a stress reliever that can’t be beat. My heartbeat is racing and my head is pounding as I come up with my own combinations to dominate my 125 pound sandbag of an opponent. I’m hooked.
Have any of you tried out kickboxing classes?
We need to talk about why people give up on their fitness journeys. Day in and day out people decide they’re going to start working out to lose a couple extra pounds or to fit into a smaller dress or to get back at someone by proving they can be slimmer and leaner. These are not good reasons to start working out. These are the type of reasons that lead people to quit. If you want to stick with it and truly see a change, you have to embark on your journey for the right reason. You need to want to take care of yourself.
I found this quote the other day and I love it. I think far too often, we don’t prioritize correctly. We spend all day stressing about our jobs, our homes, money, all of these things that are really just fleeting. At the end of the day, you are responsible for one thing and one thing alone, your body. You have to take care of yourself. No one else is going to do it for you.
One of my proudest achievements since starting to workout is motivating others to do it along with me. Prior to starting, I didn’t care at all about what I ate, how much I moved, what kind of things were going into my body, and what I was really doing to it. Age seemed like an inevitable thing that just happened no matter what you did to keep it at bay. As I started to pay more attention to nutrition and exercise, I realized that my body is like a machine. The better fuel you put in, the better performance you get out. I started diving further in to educating myself on the subject and took my father down the rabbit hole with me. Together, we motivated each other from a far, each day striving to be a better us than we were yesterday. And slowly, but surely, we’re getting there. We have already seen remarkable improvement over the years; my dad’s trimmed down quite a bit and is more conscious of the foods he’s putting into his body and I have grown more muscles and put more emphasis on eating more of the right stuff, not less of the wrong stuff.
We took time to make ourselves priorities. You get one life to live, why wouldn’t you want to live it for as long as possible? Just move for one hour a day, that’s all I ask. I don’t care if it’s a walk around the block 20 times, just move. That’s a step in the right direction (actually more than a step if we’re being technical, but who’s counting ;)). Drink an extra glass of water. Go to sleep a half hour earlier. Practice yoga for 30 minutes. Anything. These little changes add up and they will help you in the long run. So, even though you may be 22 years old and reading this and thinking you have all the time in the world to make these changes, why not start now? What’s stopping you for setting you up for success now?