Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kicking Up Something New (which sort of looked like a seizure)

Somewhere in my random blog browsing yesterday, I read something suggesting purposely trying to do some sort of new and different thing every single day- preferably something you're nervous about. I can't remember all the reasons behind the idea, or where I found it, but I do recall something about stretching, learning, keeping out of a rut, finding bravery and strength...stuff like that.

I realized that I'm always trying to get my kids to do new things, but rarely do it myself. "Go on kids...try it... you never know if you'll like it.." But since I'm not just a homeschooling mom, but a part of a Life Learning family, I should be growing too, right? (in ways other than actual waist circumference.)

I do love a challenge (although only if it's self imposed- outside challenges frustrate and annoy me) and this one even goes with my word of the year-  "Explore." I may not be in for every day, but I'd be on the look out for new things to try.

So, when I saw that the gym where my Boy Child wanted to play basketball that afternoon was offering a new class that's kind of dancing meets kickboxing (only no one actually hits you) I thought, "This sounds fun, right?"

Well, like so much in life, the ideal and the reality are far, far apart. I'm many things, but an athlete....well.....that's not so much one of them. Still, I realize that exercise helps my mood as well as my backside, plus, I figured since I'm also attempting this "No Bitterness for Lent" thing, I really could stand to blow off some energy with this Turbo Kicking.

The trouble was that it was hard to blow off steam when the punches and kicks are choreographed to really fast music, and left me flailing to keep up. No matter what the song said, I did not have the moves like Jagger. I imagined I'd be sort of Billy Banks-ish (not as in a muscley African American man, but as in all fancy with the boxing moves "double time."

Since for some reason, perhaps to torture the customers, they line the walls of places like this with mirrors, I could see just how bad things actually looked. It was a bit like someone having a seizure. I was sweaty and breathing hard and flapping my arms and legs around in all directions. I wondered if anyone would offer medical treatment, and the the teacher would have to whisper,"No, she's not epileptic, I think that's just how she dances."

Fortunately, I was not the only one having trouble keeping up. Much of the class seemed to be struggling, and I took comfort in that. The teacher would shout off rapid fire directions "Right punch, left hook, kick right front, kick left back, knee, squat....." By the time my brain registered what she said, she was on to something else. I may have actually been slack jawed with confusion.

I'm not a big fan of perspiring and I was sweating like the lady on Flash Dance, but naturally, I looked nothing like her either. I decided to quit looking in the mirror and just focus. That was almost a tragic mistake as my mad kickboxing skills nearly whacked a classmate in the face. I'm fairly sure she felt the wind off my flying foot, but luckily, no contact was made and she seemed so preoccupied with her own struggle to keep up, she didn't really even notice how close she had been to a broken nose.

I'm proud to say that I did the whole class except the cool down at the end. I only had to skip out a few minutes early, not because I was exhausted and quitting, but  because I had to get my Girl Child to her dance class...honestly.

This morning, I can definitely feel that I used my body in ways that I normally don't, but it's a good feeling. Despite my lack of natural finesse, I had a good time and will certainly try it again. Not today though...next on my list of things to try is Pilates.