I’m a big fan of the Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout game for the Nintendo Wii. It’s challenging and I enjoy it, but I wanted to do kickboxing. There is a bit of that on one of the games, but there isn’t a game devoted to the sport. I always thought that Nintendo missed out by not having ankle sensors for its console. Think of all the cool soccer and martial arts games they could have made.
I’ve always wanted to try kick boxing, but never got around to it. Over 40 and not getting any younger, I decided to take a free class, dragging a friend along with me. It turns out that I am 115 pounds of hell in pink boxing gloves.
We wandered into the gym not knowing what to expect. I was prepared with my water bottle, and I had the required sneaks and boxing gloves. Our instructor welcomed us, told us to pick a bag, and she would be over to show us the basic moves.
This is where the video game came in handy. I had already been practicing these punches, the only thing new to me were the kicks. Coming from a soccer background, I learned that you do not kick the bag with the inside of your foot. Ankle bones must never make contact with the bag, your shin actually connects with it in a roundhouse kick. After a brief instruction, we were ready to begin.
The first thing our trainer told us to do was grab a five-pound weight. Huh? This is kick boxing, am I going to kick or punch a dumbbell? If that’s the case, I left my armor at home.
I was prepared to take out my frustrations on the heavy bag hanging from a chain in front of me. What I was not prepared for was the time I spent on the floor for warm ups and cool downs.
I think I spent equal time horizontal as well as vertical. We had to do planks which I thought was a short lived Internet fad.
Burpee? I thought they manufactured seed packets. Apparently they are some sort of tortuous exercise eliciting an audible groan when mentioned. Its moves are still a mystery to me. I can’t follow the exact steps, and those who can do them execute them so well, that they’re done before I know what happened.
After pulling myself up from the spongy black floor, it was time to beat up the bag. Playing the Gold’s Gym game helped a lot. One thing I realized is that I missed kicking things. No longer chasing a black and white ball around a field, I got to kick the stuffing out of an imaginary opponent. I like doing roundhouses and front kicks, but my adversary doesn’t move much. It’s a black leather force that comes back for more no matter how hard I hit it.
After assaulting the heavy bag, we were back on the floor. There was more stretching, more dreaded seed packets. When it was over, I felt KO’d. In the shower I could barely reach the top of my head. Is it possible for hair to hurt?
The next morning wasn’t so bad. I survived and I was compelled to join now that the free trial was under my belt. Paying for membership is my incentive to actually go to the gym. While the video game is fun, I find it too easy to be distracted by more pressing activities like laundry and vacuuming.
My friend joined that night, but I needed to sleep on it and have a State of the Financial Union meeting with the husband. He encouraged my new pursuit, and after work the following day, I joined.
So, what do I hope to get out of it? I would like to reap health benefits. I’m not really interested in losing weight or building muscles. I sit all day at a desk job and write and read at night. Studies suggest prolonged sitting is the new smoking. Kickboxing is a full-body workout. Still, I doubt Mickey forced Rocky Balboa to do burpees.