new kid on the (kickboxing) block…

Although I technically live in Savannah, GA (and pay a mobster-like fee for fire department services there), I work in Chicago during the week.  I’m typically in the windy city Monday through Thursday and home Friday through Sunday.  I’ve only been doing this commute for about a month now, but will be here for the better part of a year.  It’s hard to get into a good healthy-living routine when you’re exhausted from early-Monday-morning and late-Thursday-night flights… working long days… living out of a hotel… on an expense account… with a bunch of male coworkers that eat like lumber-jacks without gaining weight.

Yeah, that’s tough… but I’m tougher.

This weekend, I searched online for a gym with classes, looking specifically for kickboxing classes since I love those and they are butt-kicking workouts that leave me drenched in my homeless-man sweat.  After several panic-attacks about the gym membership prices here in Chi-town, I finally found a women’s studio downtown that offers kickboxing classes on Tuesday nights.  I signed up for just one class, thinking that I’d check it out and decide if I wanted to buy the 20-class punch card later.

The studio is about a mile from my office and the weather was nice yesterday, so I changed into my workout clothes at the office and hoofed it over to class.  Stepping off the elevator on my floor, I was really nervous – for several reasons… (1) I haven’t been to a kickboxing class in over 6 months (2) I feel terribly out of shape right now (3) I didn’t know anyone (4) these are “big-city” girls and I’m sooo not.

With some serious false-bravado, I stepped into the long line to wait for the previous class to let out so we could file in for our workout.  I was surprised to find that the girls around me were super-friendly and welcomed me to the class… all chit-chatty and encouraging about “getting back into the swing of things”.  When we were finally able to go into the studio, a couple of the girls showed me the room where we could leave our bags, pointed out the best place to be in order to see the instructor while also getting air from the window-unit air conditioning, and gave me a very encouraging thumbs up before finding their own places.

We had about a 5 minute wait while the instructor got ready, so I glanced around the room.  While most of the girls were slender, there were several other body-types represented.  Regardless of their size or fitness level, I noticed that most everyone was fidgeting awkwardly while waiting… zoning out at their reflection in the mirror.  I didn’t feel like quite as much of a spaz as I did the same nervous fidget.

Class started and we were off… I didn’t know the routine, but I did know the moves, so I was able to keep up pretty well for a new kid.  After what seemed like an hour, I grabbed some water and checked the time… only 15 minutes had passed!  My head told me to give it up… this was a really tough workout… to just be glad I didn’t pass out after the first 15 minutes.  But like I said before, I’m tougher and I committed to sticking it out.  The rest of the hour crawled by, but when we started our cool-down, I felt amazing!

A group of us crowded onto the elevator and everyone was chatty and hyper… I didn’t feel the least bit out of place any more.  Yeah, I was the new kid on the block… but I had just passed my initiation and lasted a full hour in that butt-kicking class!  I was so excited that I practically skipped my way back to the hotel (a very pleasant 1.5 mile walk).

Today?  I’m buying that 20-class punch card… I’m so in.

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