My friend Elizabeth has been taking a cardio kickboxing class for over a year now. A couple of months ago, she sent out an email, inviting us to join her. I decided to give it a try. Even attempting this was a pretty huge deal for me for a number of reasons.
First, I am overweight. Technically, I am obese although few people actually believe that. (Maybe they're just being polite.) Any sort of exercise has been difficult and embarrassing for me due to my weight and insecurity.
Second, I have some serious neck and back issues as a result of a car accident in 1990. I've lived with chronic pain since then. Yes, that's 17 years of chronic pain. We're talking half of my life. I've seen a number of doctors, physios, massage therapists, chiropractors and "specialists" over this time. Some have been incredibly helpful, some, not so much. Just over a year ago, I started seeing a chiropractor who uses Active Release Techniques as well as a unique form of muscle testing to diagnose and treat his patients. The improvement has been remarkable. My mobility has increased, my pain has decreased and my overall health has improved dramatically. This improvement is a huge part of what has allowed me to become active.
Third, I hate exercise. I have been the proud owner of a number of gym memberships. You know the kind where you pay the monthly fee but you don't actually go? Yes that's me. I belong to a gym. I just never go. I hate the machines. I hate weights. I hate the skinny people. I hate spandex. I hate sweating. I hate pain. I HATE THE GYM!!!
But for some reason, I LOVE KICKBOXING!!! I totally suck at it. My technique is awful and I can barely keep up with the class but I love it. During the class, I find myself thinking about how good I will be if I keep up with it. Normally, all I can think about is giving up because I suck so bad. I am in total pain during and after but I keep going back. I think I finally get the adrenaline rush thing that fit people talk about getting from working out. I might drag my sorry ass to class but afterwards, no matter how sore my muscles are, I feel fantastic! And even though it's only been just over a month I can actually feel the changes in my body. I seem to have muscles where only flab existed before. I don't get completely out of breath when walking up to the third floor at work. My weight, according to the dreaded bathroom scale, hasn't dropped, but people are constantly asking me if I've lost weight. So it's working. I'm feeling better, looking better and really enjoying it. I honestly never thought I would get to this stage.