Warning: super long post ahead....
So, today I thought I might die in an exercise class.
My journey or better yet, struggle with exercise began when I left the lovely city of Washington, DC where my day consisted of walking 2 miles to and from work and hitting the gym in the wee hours of the morning. This shift occurred because, well, I went to grad school. The Freshmen 15 has nothing on the situation that occurs in grad school. Needless to say, exercise or food that resembled something real barely crossed my mind.
E made great attempts at keeping me quasi on track. She talked me into a summer bootcamp. Yes, we participated in a bootcamp class at 9:00am, five days a week, outside, in the unforgiving Georgia heat. Surprisingly, I ended up loving it. Although the amount of beer we consumed that summer only seemed to cancel out our great efforts. Then there was our favorite 90 minute spin class - which I loved and was addicted to like drugs. Mags and I even tried to hit a yoga class every now and again. Still, the two years reeked havoc on the ole body.
While unpacking boxes, I began experiencing some intense lower back pain. My bestie, who is also a physical therapist, notified me that I had stressed my sciatic nerve. Fantastic! Who injures themselves during routine box movement? Clearly, me. After a little treatment with him, he told me that my abs and hips are weak and I needed to create more time to working out these muscles (and working out in general). I decided, I'm 28 and need to be able to walk when I am 80 so it's time to get it together.
And then it happened.
I have been longing to try boxing for years so imagine my excitement when I discovered there is a boxing gym in Tampa. I finally mustered up the courage and tried a class. I was not sure what to expect but I had a feeling it was going to flatten me out like a pancake. It did.
As I entered the gym, a class was going on so I sat down and began taking notes. I did not want to be a creepy stalker so I tried not to watch those currently in class but let's be honest, I needed to know what I was about to experience.
The instructor came over and got me signed up. My only instructions were that there would be 15 mins cardio, 15 mins abs, and 30 mins boxing. Luckily, I made a friend (who also happens to be a junior leaguer) in the waiting area who filled me in that pretty much every second of the class was killer. Great. And that he is the hardest instructor. Great, again.
The first 15 minutes were okay. I even made it through the running and squats. I loathe running but it wasn't so bad. Then came the abs. All I really remember from those 15 minutes of torture is the instructor saying, "Why are you stopping?", "Knees together" and "Lower". At the end, we had 2 minutes of sit ups to which he held down my feet and made me articulate my count. Talk about pressure to perform. I just kept trucking, praying that my body would once again rise off of the floor.
Then there was more running and sprinting while holding a ball over our head. As that ended, I thought, "thank goodness it is time for boxing". Um, wrong, boxing is hard! As I am getting my hands wrapped and boxing gloves put on, I began to feel a little light headed. The instructor sweetly tells me to get water and take it easy a second. I sit down, praying to God that I do not pass out in this gym full of people and begging my body to make it through the next 30 minutes. I quickly recovered and began the next segment.
This was no movie folks. I got a quick instruction on my stance and away we went into intervals of boxing, jumping jacks, running, push ups, and squats. I'm sorry, what?!?! God bless that instructor because he was intense but I really loved him for it. I needed a drill sargeant and he delivered. At one point, he came over to me and said, "are you arms heavy?". Let's see, they were more like wet noodles flopping around with heavy sandbags on the end of them. I would say, yes.
The bonus to the experience was the excellent playlist. The last song made me laugh out loud out from the irony. Can you guess? "I need a doctor" by Dr. Dre and Eminem. I did need a doctor, hot bath and icy hot.
Side note: I have not used icy hot since cheerleading but extreme measures were needed today. Can we please discuss the intensity of the heat? I literally thought that my back was experiencing a chemical peel gone wrong.
While stretching, I realized that I have a hole in my workout pants. Great, I am out of shape and my clothes are holy. Conveniently, the instructor was sitting directly across from me and all I kept thinking was, "please do not let him see this hole". I did excel at the stretching segment, thank you yoga! Those of you who know me well, know that I tend to say crazy things when I am embarrassed. This little hole did not fail me because suddenly I thought I could be funny and say something like, "oh, great, something I can finally do.. hahaha" followed by silence and then the instructor said, "well, i hope so". Joke Fail.
I have never experienced a more intense workout in my life but I survived. Clearly, a little hard work with the body did not kill me. I anticipate that I will not be able to walk tomorrow but that class was just what the doctor ordered. It was so hard I could barely think and I cannot wait to go back!