Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

For me living in South Africa is my big chance in life. It's my big chance to try new things and spend time doing activities that I enjoy. If I can think of something that I've always wanted to do or if I want to try something that I've never thought of doing before, now is the time. Throughout life we imagine hobbies or interests we'd like to pursue but we tell ourselves we don't have time and often we really don't. But I have time and now is my big chance. 

Maybe it's due to growing up in the era of Rocky Balboa or possibly I have pent up aggression but when I heard that a new boxing gym opened nearby I was intrigued and I wanted to try it. I should note that throughout my life I have often been intrigued and wanted to try things for what turned out to be the wrong reasons. I joined the band in high school because I thought it would be cool to march during football games and parades (by the way it's not cool at all it totally sucks.) I went to gymnastics camp because I wanted to join the gymnastics team so I could get the cool letter jacket. I have run marathons and half marathons so I could get the medals and have stronger looking legs but not because of any love of running. Similarly, I wanted to go to the boxing gym because I think wearing boxing gloves is cool and I want to have strong chiseled arms.

I also thought it would be a good idea for Mr. Deep and I to check out Fight Club (that's the name of the gym) together. While Mr. Deep and I are spending time together on the weekends and when we go on trips we aren't doing as many activities together as we used to before we moved here. We used to go to the gym together after work and now I go alone during the day. We don't run together because Mr. Deep is a lot faster than I am. We don't watch basketball together and root for our favorite team anymore because there is no basketball to watch. We don't talk about what happened on Howard Stern show because we can no longer listen. We don't cook dinner together because dinner making clearly falls under the Ops Department and Mr. Deep is not a member of the Ops team. So I asked him if he would go with me to Fight Club for a free trial and he agreed.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the free trial and we weren't given much information. The email confirmation said to bring water and a sweat towel so I imagined there would be some kind of exertion. But often when you visit gyms you also get an orientation of some kind so I thought that might be part of it. 

When we arrived we didn't have to sign any forms, present a doctor's note or even give a phone number. Yes, we had signed up in advance for the free trial but we never even gave our names when we checked in. I love the absence of formality and lack of concern over potential lawsuits in South Africa. 

We were put into a group with about ten other people. I am not sure if they were also there trying out the gym or if they were members. I was glad to see I wasn't the least fit of the bunch. I know it's petty but come on, you don't want to be the person who has to run out of the class to throw up. I was also probably the oldest woman in the group. I thought that was good from an expectations management standpoint. I considered telling the other women my age just so they would know for sure how old I am but I didn't get a chance. Chris, the trainer, asked us about our fitness level which of course Mr.Deep and I both described as "very good." He then wrapped our hands with a cloth band while Mr. Deep made comments like, "cut me Mick." 

To begin we had to run four laps around the parking lot. While I don't particularly like running I can run and I recently ran a 5k so I knew I could do it. My big concern was I didn't wear the right bra for running. The bra I wore was more appropriate for punching so that was not ideal. We ran the four laps and then Chris put boxing gloves on us. Yes, it's as cool as it sounds. We were hustled into an area with a bunch of bags and went through a series of drills. Many had to do with punching like left right left right really fast or punching left left left left etc. While we were busy punching the trainers walked around and gave advice about stance and form. In between bouts of punching we had to do jumping jacks, push ups, squats etc. 

After that we had to run again, this time two laps. If anyone stopped to walk (I didn't) the trainers told them no walking run, run, run. The running was o.k. but I've never had my arms hurt while running before. The punching was hard work! We then headed back inside for more activity. We did dips and fast step ups (two sets each) and then moved to another area where we held big weights (10kg for men and 5kg for women and a kg is 2.2 pounds by the way) above our heads and did fast knee lifts and then alternated with kettle bell swings. Twice. Finally we moved into the "ring" where we did crunches of various kinds before a cool down with stretching to end the class.

Throughout the class Mr. Deep shot me a few glances that indicated that he was not having fun and that he possibly wanted to kill me. It was really an intense work out. The first words Mr. Deep said to me after class were "having fun signing up" because he knew I would. And I will. These arms aren't going to chisel themselves. 
Somehow I was cut out of the two group photos taken by the club staff. I was standing right next to the girl with the red gloves. Now I have a complex thinking I was purposely cut because my arms are too flabby especially compared to hers. 

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About Me

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Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.