If you’re reading this, realize I survived my first lesson. In fact, I also managed to make it out injury free. As a rookie and because of some chaos before my lesson, I learned some very critical things.
My first class was on the same day my family was participating at a garage sale by my aunt’s house, so we were at her house by 7 a.m. The good news was she had doughnuts for us. The bad news was this was the only thing I had to eat before my lesson. That was a huge mistake as I did not have enough energy to run on and after class I felt weak and my arms were shaking.
On that note, there are certain qualities in food you should look for/avoid before exercising. It is important to eat easily, digestible carbohydrates like fruit/yogurt because it will help you to not feel sluggish. Also, avoid saturated fats and even a decent amount of protein because it takes longer to digest and will take oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles.
The first thing I learned upon arriving at my lesson was the only class at 12p.m. was kickboxing. I wished I had gotten clarification on the phone earlier, but it was obviously too late. It is still a form of self-defense, so I figured I should at least try it even though I was still nervous as I always am before something new. I had very high expectations, and was worried the lessons wouldn’t be as helpful or fun as I anticipated especially since now I was going to take a different type of self-defense than I thought. I was imagining it was going to be a karate class.
In terms of the lesson, I did feel behind on my first day. I discovered kickboxing classes are offered other days of the week, and I am only able to come on Saturdays since I am away at college during the week. Therefore, most were ahead of me because they attended other kickboxing classes during the week. Another thing that made lessons confusing aside from having to play catch-up was that I am left-handed. Therefore, I had to remember everything everyone was doing I had to be doing the opposite in order to being doing the moves correctly. However, everyone there was super understanding and helpful so I did not feel too out of place. The girl they paired me with slowed everything down that the instructor was doing so I didn’t feel too lost.
Although I was not on the same page, I still tried to listen to everything that the instructor said. One of the things he kept referencing was a, “Superman Punch”. He did this move a few times, but did not explain the steps. Luckily, I was able to find information that broke this move down into four steps:
- Lift your rear leg and slightly tilt backward
- Use your momentum to take a small hop
- Extend your rear hand for the punch as you extend with your rear leg
- Return to your fight stance
Ultimately, it looks like this:
Near the end, the girl who I was paired with excitedly asked the instructor if we could do something called 5 minutes in hell. My initial thought was “Oh no, that sounds like a terrible idea”. By this time, I had absolutely no energy left for what I thought would be involved in an activity with the word “hell” in it.
The class was divided into two groups – a group who wanted to spar and those who didn’t. I had no idea what sparring was, so I decided to play it safe. Sparring, I found out, is where you and an opponent face each other and practicing boxing moves to help each other develop skills.
For those of us who did not want to spar, there were punching cushions/ bags and we were instructed to beat the hell out of them. I thought that the instructor seemed hyper before, but at that point he reminded me of a child who had way too much sugar. He kept yelling at us to punch harder or we would have to do exercises and even made us do push-ups (I was never instructed how to and still don’t know how to do those properly).
Despite feeling out of place and extremely nervous prior to class, I had fun and enjoyed learning about something new. The last important thing I’d like to stress is to always bring water because after class I was incredibly thirsty and out of breath. And of course, ready to rest.
Here are my sources if you are interested in finding out more:
Food to Eat/Avoid Before/During/After Workouts
How to Throw a Superman Punch