Everyone wants to start off their new year by taking hold of their resolution and accomplishing the goal they promised to themselves. Unfortunately, however, many people give up a few weeks in- maybe it’s because they got bored of waking up at 5am to run ten miles or having a kale smoothie for breakfast every morning when a family member brought home bagels. I, like many, many, MANY people, also resolved to improve my diet and fitness. I have been through every diet, meal plan, and exercise fad, and it’s all ended the same- quitting due to boredom. So this year, I decided to start off the new year with a twist.
So I signed up for kickboxing.
I’ve wanted to try kickboxing for many years, but always lacked the courage to actually take a group exercise class. However, I did not want to waste the first month of the year on a repetitive fitness plan I knew I would get bored of immediately, so I decided to swallow my fear and put on the gloves.
I signed up for my first class at the kickboxing studio in my hometown in Connecticut, (only a ten-minute drive!!!) and was greeted by the kindest, most energetic group of women in the all-female run studio. They gave me a tour of the studio and my own pair of gloves, and I got ready for my first 45-minute class.
The class went like this: warm-up exercises, stretching, bag work, and ending exercises. Each class offered there is different, depending on who is teaching, and no fitness class is the same, something I desperately craved having done exercise plans that required the same workouts every day.
I was pumped up for my first class and was so excited to finally punch a bag- too excited, because about fifteen minutes into class, I started hyperventilating and had to go sit in the back of the studio for most of the session. Even though I spent most of my class sitting in a chair with a wet towel on my head and a carton of orange juice in my hand, I still enjoying actually getting up and doing a class. I found their was something freeing about not having control over what workouts you do, how long, and how many times. Being instructed by a teacher forbade me from taking breaks between exercises or losing focus or chickening out midway through an exercise because I hated it.
Even though I tapped out for most of class, I went back four or five times a week for the entire month of January (for the 35-minuted classes). I found kickboxing to be so enjoyable that I stopped trying to pay attention to how it was changing my physique and more on proper technique and power. I never got through a class without dripping in sweat, but my stamina got noticeably better.
There are many great health benefits to kickboxing, so it’s no wonder it’s the go-to workout for many supermodels. It’s a great way to lose weight fast, improve your endurance and balance, boost your metabolism, relieve stress, and build muscle. It also gives you the skills required to kick your little brother in the leg when he tries to eat the nachos you just made for yourself without asking.
I made sure not to return to school without my gloves- even though I was no longer taking classes, my go-to spot at the gym is the bag, and my goal is to improve myself not by measuring my appearance, but my endurance. The exercises that caused me to hyperventilate only a couple months before are now much easier for me to do, though they are still not easy. And honestly, I prefer it that way.