In January of this year, I did something very out of character for me: I signed up to take a boxing fitness class. I do not enjoy group fitness classes, and I don’t know a thing about boxing except that I don;t ever want to box with anyone because I don’t want to get hit. I brought along a security blanket in the form of my friend Emily (had she not wanted to go with me, I am fairly certain that I would never have gone by myself).
It was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
The class is at a local gym and my instructor is this amazing woman named Anne. She is patient and encouraging and infectiously positive. The class in January was an intro to fitness and boxing class. I knew I needed the intro to boxing part, and I knew I didn’t necessarily need an intro to fitness, but I needed fitness in general since I had fallen out of shape pretty quickly after the marathon.
That first class was intimidating but fun. Anne showed us how to wrap our hands (and wrapped them for almost all of us for the first couple weeks — that’s a lot of hand wrapping!) and I felt admittedly self-conscious putting on the gloves for the first time. I can remember hitting the bag for the first time — and when I did my first 30 second interval, I couldn’t believe how out of breath I was — just from hitting a bag???!!!??? What. A. Workout.
We do lots of circuit work in the class, and we do everything it seems — cardio, weights, balance, body weight exercises, core work, coordination. Most of these are things I consider weaknesses, especially balance, coordination, and core (quick side note about coordination — there is so much going on with boxing and coordination; we get in the ring with Anne holding the pads while she calls out combinations and I have to make my arms and feet do all the right things in the right direction at the right time — it’s a GREAT body/mind workout!). In the first class, Anne had us do quick planks. She showed us different variations we could do to meet our fitness level (that is one of the things I really love about Anne — she has variations we can do to match our fitness level or to accommodate our limitations (like my knee). My first plank was basically on my forearms and knees, and I think I held it for about 15 seconds, rested for 5, and finished the last 10.
You might think with all this hard work the first day, I’d say forget it, but nope. LOVED it. Such a great workout! And as time has gone on and the class has now become a regular fitness class twice a week, I’ve gotten to know some other people who also come to class and they all inspire me so much. Everybody works so hard in class because we hold each other up and see the progress we are all making and I could not ask for a better way to spend 2 nights a week. Now when Anne calls out combinations, I can do more than just “jab cross” — I can do “double jab cross hook straight”. And when she set out 2 Bosus for us to plank on (and gave us the option to just put our forearms on one and our feet on the mat instead of the other Bosu), I decided to test myself and used both Bosus — and held that damn plank for 30 seconds — TWICE!
A welcoming facility, an inspiring instructor, encouraging and fun friends, and an amazing workout — seriously, what’s not to love?
Stepping this far out of my comfort zone in January is one of the best things I have ever done in my whole life.