Rock That Body
|Photo: David Clarihew|
For those of you who have never been kickboxing, I urge you to do it. When I say urge, I mean UUUURRRGGEEE!
I remember hearing about this kickboxing studio in high school (Studio Kicks, Los Gatos) and listening to some of my friends talk about how they went to a class and loved it. Apparently, they were made of money because there was no way I was going to spend my hard earned money on working out, was I the only one who had three hour practice each day? I thought the Tae Bo conditioning we did in softball was enough for me, thank you very much. But… I did really love Tae Bo, that Billy Banks guy was onto something in the late 90’s.
Well, once my competitive sports career ended and I was negatively bulking up in college, I decided to test out a kickboxing class at the gym. Since I have some prior knee injuries, I find that a lot of exercises hurt. For example, I can only run 3-4 miles and then my knees just shut down. So, I went into this class hoping it wouldn’t hurt and preparing to leave early if I couldn’t take the pain. To my surprise, I hit that hour class and I hit it hard! Despite the high impact moves (jumping jacks, high knees and squat jumps), my knees felt great. I thought I was going to pass out a few times, but I figured if I kept it up and went again that week, I would only get stronger. Looking back, this was the first official date in my love affair with KB.
Throughout the rest of college I went to at least one KB class a week and looked forward to moving home (OK, not really) to start going to this studio I heard about 4 years prior. And go I did. Granted, I felt a little out of place as a recent college graduate amongst all these hot Los Gatos moms, but I was not letting that break up me and my new love. I started with a few times a week, but I became obsessed. I needed more. I was an addict, fiending for more kicking, punching, elbows and squats. Give me the deafening beat of the music and the shouts of my teachers, pushing me to “dig deeper, push harder”. Oh, I’ll show you dig deeper dude!!! And I did, each day for at least an hour.
The studio not only had great instructors, phenomenal equipment and staff, but a variety of classes. I was learning strength training moves in classes like total body conditioning. I was beating the crap out of a weighted bag and burning up to 600 calories in cardio kick classes. Was this place real? Or had this work out fanatic died and gone to heaven? I watched as people came in each day with an extra 10-20 pounds and walk out a month later with not only the weight gone, but muscle to replace the jiggle they left on the studio floor.
I became a devout kick boxer, taking two, sometimes four (OK, let’s be honest, this was right before my wedding… you know how that goes) classes, realizing this was in fact my calling. While I thought I was pretty good, I was validated by great feedback from the different instructors. I can’t begin to tell you how honored I was hearing this from the professionals. Me? Little old me had gotten your attention? VICTORY!!
When I moved away, I made a point to teach summer school, just so I could get in four weeks at the studio. But I knew that wouldn’t last forever. I bought my own bag and transformed part of my garage into my own studio. Weighted bag, check. Gloves, check. Killer playlist, check. I was ready to go! But, I still craved more. I became a certified instructor and now share my passion with others each week. Hope to see you in one of my classes soon!