Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The spirit is willing but…….

(7/14/2009 5:00pm) Fitness Kickboxing

For the better part of this year I did not exercise for the fear that it could kill me. Now whenever I do, I am certain that it Will kill me. Last night I participated in another session of Fitness Kickboxing and am suffering the afterglow.

Now, let me describe the agony that is our Fitness Kickboxing. When most people hear the term “Fitness Kickboxing” their minds envision some kind of work-out as one would find at a run of the mill fitness chain, like the ones that are open 24 Hours, and focus on Fitness, yes like some kind of 24 Hour Fitness type place. I assure you, it is not like that.

Distinction number 1. Heavy bags. Real heavy bags. Muay Thai style, super tall heavy bags that will laugh at you if you offend them with anything less than full power.

Distinction number 2. Did I mention the full power thing? Combination after combination all thrown with vicious intent at an opponent that does not get tired nor does it seem phased against any onslaught.

Distinction number 3. Bodyweight exercises. Lots and lots of body weight exercises. Burpees and Lunges and push-ups, oh my. The irony of bodyweight exercises is that they seem much harder now that I’m out of shape and a bit heavier than I was the last time I did them; go figure.

Distinction number 4. Cardio. Ok, so those other programs are all about cardio, but I doubt they have the same nauseating combination of all of the events I have described to this point in addition to a symphony of cardio work that builds to a crescendo throughout the hour long class, never plateauing, just steadily building to the peak before allowing you to crumble in a soggy mass on the mats.

There was a time in the fairly recent past where I could complete this workout and then go smoothly into BJJ class (skipping the warm-ups of course). Well, I am not there yet. I had every intention of doing so last night but by the time the hour was finished, so was I. Shaky legs could barely carry me back to the locker room to retrieve my bag, my keys and my dignity.

Now I cannot forget to mention that yesterday the temperature here in the lovely high desert topped out at around 101°? Now the gym is approximately 4,000 ft2 and the swamp cooler we have does not quite cool the entire space. In all honesty, it only cools that little square directly underneath it. The heavy bag area is not directly underneath it. Not even close. A cinderblock building with a tin roof tends to get a bit warm under the desert sun, as does everyone inside.

Now don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not whining. Really, I’m not. I am relishing the fact that I am able to do this again. I may be way out of shape compared to where I was before my last round of strokes and heart surgery but I am alive and able to begin rebuilding. I know each hellish session I endure gets me closer to where I was before, which gets me closer to being better than I have ever been. I love that today, as I type this, I am in sheer agony. My legs scream with every movement, my shoulders are tense, my shins are covered with welts and my pinky knuckles are even bruised. Each of those little nuisances are small trophies that I have EARNED on my way back. Being out of shape is a terrible state to be in. Luckily, I’m just visiting.


Anonymous said...

I don't think you're the only one struggling to get back in shape.

The heat is taking the wind out of a lot of people's sails. Last month I went to a session where I got so hot that I reduced the number of times I go a week.

I seriously pondered taking a month off because we were having hot days that were breaking records.

Jay said...

Thanks B.

It can be kinda hard for me at the moment to realize that I am not the only one struggling because I am so fixated on just how out of shape I had gotten while out for my heart. Last night I took a good look around and I was not the worst in the room. Thanks for the perspective.