Violent Femme

Arrgh! Where did that week go? It was all work work workity work. And sitting on my arse watching the cricket and MotoGP too, must admit.

So! It’s time for another New Years Resolution Update. Imagine that there’s some sort of theme tune to go along with that… doo doo dooooo.

All my goals are ticking along nice and dandy. I think making them specific, realistic and enjoyable has helped. About time I learned that lesson!

8. Try three new sporty activities in 2007

Old school folks may recall my first Body Combat class way back in November 2001. I was 117 kilos at the time and my face went redder than my hair. My punches were feeble and my kicks were about as powerful as a chihuahua lifting its leg to pee on a car tyre, but I was an enthusiastic participant and was soon addicted. I was proud of my big red face. I loved throwing punches and kicking and screaming, even though I was only assaulting thin air.

Five-and-a-bit years later my pal V called up and said she was going to try a kickboxing class and did I fancy coming along. Like Body Combat? I asked. Nooo, she said. Like boxing gloves and kicking the crap out of people. AH HA! I said. This could count as a New Sporty Activity for my list! Gloves ahoy!

I hadn’t been to a gym class since May last year, because of the dodgy knee. It was bizarre being back in a mirrored environment. I still did my automatic sweep of the room to see if I was the biggest, and I was. But in height only. Hehehe!

The instructor was a bloke and he was the real kickboxing deal, black belt and everything. I’m so used to techno music and instructors who say "woohoo" and "work it, ladies!" that it was a bit unsettling at first when it was clear this was more sporty than aerobic-y.

First we did drills and circuity things – shadowboxing, then switching rapidly back and forth between kicks, push-ups, sprinting on the spot, star jumps, sit ups. It was rather grueling! But sooo much fun! You have to remember I’d spent the previous eight MONTHS limited to nothing but boring knee exercises and boring stationery bike riding, so it was a real treat. Oddly enough my fitness level hadn’t dropped off; I easily kept up with the class. My face was merely pink instead of the old Call The Ambulance red.

Next up the group was split in two. Half of us got our gloves on and the other took the pad thingies. Us Gloved Ones did a lot of running between the Pad People and punching them in all manner of styles. Holy CRAP, I loved punching people. Really! I just thought of everyone who had even remotely annoyed me over the past 29 years and let fly. POW POW POW! One Pad Girl said to me, "Whoa, that is a scary face!" and her neighbour said, "She is taking it very seriously, isn’t she?". Damn right, girly!

Then we had to kick, which was even better. My favourite was a drill where you just had to do roundhouse kicks over and over for one minute, really fast, then switch to the other leg, then back to the first leg, and so on, until your pins turn to jelly. I love roundhouse kicks. It was amazing after all those years of kicking nothing at Body Combat to actually connect with something, even if it was only a girl with a big cushion! My knee felt good and I loved the sound of my foot smacking the pad, pow pow pow.

But then we had to swap over, and I went from overly-aggressive freak to total WIMPY ARSE. Oh dear. As soon as I had those pads in my hands I wanted to run home to mummy. I didn’t think these nice girls with their pretty ponytails would punch so HARD. I was totally unprepared and compleeeetely useless at holding the pads, and got smacked in the cheek and temple by mistake. So I just sort of floated the pads around my head, cowering beneath as they rained blows down on me. I could dish it out but I sure couldn’t take it! Hehe.

The hour was up by then, and after that was the sparring class, where the pads get put away and you assault people more directly. But since Vicki and I were beginners the dude suggested we wait a few weeks for that. Fair enough! "You’ll be in a world of pain tomorrow," he said, "But don’t let that put you off. You gotta come back next week!"

So that was 8th January and I have not bloody been back. Tis why I hadn’t written about it sooner, I was too busy SULKING. I woke up the next day and my knee was completely cactus. Unable to straighten my leg properly, hurting like a mofo, blah blah blah. It took two long weeks of limping and rest and ice and exercises before I could even get back on the boring stationery bike on the gym. Grrrrrr. It was similar to what happened with the swimming – the knee felt okay at the time, it was only the next day that it was all out of whack. I don’t think it was the kicking that did it, because I’d been really careful with them at the time. I think it was the over-enthusiastic hopping and skipping and springing around; all the short and sudden movements.

So that’s what led me to revising my goals to make sure I was working within my limitations, as opposed to working within my fantasy dream world. At times it’s deathly boring but after almost three months, the knee feels much stronger for sticking to low impact stuff. It still pisses me off that I can’t go back to the kickboxing class yet – One, because it ruled; and Two, because I see the instructor all the time at the gym and I haven’t been back to his stinking class, and I HATE the idea of anyone thinking I didn’t go back because I’m a scared little prissy pants. I am thinking of wrapping a big red bandage around my knee that says "HURTY" on it, so he knows there was a legitimate reason.

I am sure I’ll get back there someday. Anyway, I am going to put that down as a New Sporty Activity, and I don’t care what you say! I had not punched anyone with gloves before so it totally counts. Woohoo!

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21 thoughts on “Violent Femme

  1. Are you wrapping your knee BEFORE you do these activities? Hopefully you aren’t doing this stuff without proper wrapping and bracing!!!

  2. wrapping and taping has never helped it unfortunately. same with those knee sock thingies!

    when i did this one class way back in january, it was after many months of rest and physio and i thought i was ready to try something with more impact, but it was a premature comeback! 🙂 so have been keeping all exercise rather basic ever since and it’s really helped.

  3. That’s a shame… I know how frustrating it is. My weird version of rheumatoid arthritis keeps me from doing the things I love… it only attacks my joints when they are stressed, therefore, the doc says NO STRESS! No more skateboarding, ice hockey, bowling etc… only boring walking and swimming.

    Check out this brownie picture… I cracked up when I saw it!

    link to flickr.com

  4. that sucks gracie! especially when you were doing cool stuff like skateboarding and ice hockey! don’t you hate that, “don’t stress the joint” thing? as if it was some sort of rabid dog that you have to tiptoe past in case it attacks you! beware of the joint!

    brownie man is a hoot 🙂 i could bite his head off!

  5. Awwwww, that sucks 🙁 I know how much fun it is to go from non-contact Body Combat to Imma-Punch-You-Hard contact kickboxing – my personal trainer sometimes does this with me, but I think he probably is a bit worried that I got TOO enthusiastic. O_O

  6. I had not punched anyone with gloves
    Just regular old streetfighting for you, eh? Brass knuckles!

    My “kickboxing” class is definitely more of the “woohoo” variety. It’d be nice to take a sportier class, but I don’t want a join the gym because I’m a cheapskate.

  7. PQ – hehehe, it’s all true! i’ve been living in scotland for awhile now and people are pretty tough where i live. streetfighting skillz are an advantage 🙂

    btw, i still love the Woohoo kickboxing classes!! you just can’t beat them for the complete cardio workout, everything hurts the next day. The Non-Woohoo class was an easy way to sneak in a new activity… but methinks i will have to think a bit harder for the other ones!

  8. Ah, punching stuff – my favourite thing! Holding the pads is a TOUGH workout, my back and shoulders are sore for days after I take a client through some boxing. Especially the over-enthusiastic male variety.

    I did a boxing workshop last year at the big annual Aus fitness convention, and Kostya Tszu was supposed to take it. We were all excited…. then he didn’t show up. Boo!

  9. I LOVE boxing! I’ve been doing it for about 7 months now, and I am totally addicted! It’s so great to just hit something every day! Well, six days out of the week anyway. On average, I do 4 to 6 three-minute rounds on the bag. I used to mix in a bunch of kicks (LOVE the roundhouse too!), but had to stop recently due to an old foot injury rearing its ugly head. I spar with one of my trainers, and get lessons from the other. Boxing has taking a toll on my body, mostly for the better. Though the kicking has injured my foot, I can tell that it’s made my legs so much stronger! And my arms are getting tone! I sometimes get a few cuts on my knuckles, but they are sooo worth it. I consider them my war wounds! I hope you can get back into the kickboxing again soon, as it sounds like you loved it! My boxing trainer thinks I could actually get into the ring and spar with other women, but I think it’s too early for that. Strangely enough, I’ve only sparred with men so far. Where are all the other female boxers at?

  10. Hmmmm – since you see this guy at the gym all the time, why don’t you go talk to him and mention you have a dodgy knee and is there anything that perhaps one could do in kickboxing that is low-impact until you are strong enough for bigger things? Then he can perhaps suggest activities that could still help, would let you do kickboxing and keep a good knee… you wouldn’t be the first one to request it, i’m certain. He may know some tips to prevent injury… he DOES have a black belt and all! maybe can do some ancient chinese wushu that will save your knee!

  11. Oh, FUN! You’ve inspired me to go in search of a kickboxing class around here now. I’m still in awe of how well you’re going with that bloody sore knee! I think you rock, DG :o)

    xoxo

  12. I loved that post Shauny. There’s nothing better than going into the fray and getting sweaty.

    Shame about the knee but you know you are doing the right thing by resting it. You aint old yet so lots of time left to recouperate.

  13. I have been thinking about Kickboxing a lot lately. I soooooooooo need to punch and kick mate!!!!

    But have been hesitant to even go at a gym and ask.

    I am thinking of it as a psychotherapy tool not a toning one, but really, you think I could get a good work out on these shaggy arms of mine?

    Then I’ll go seriously looking for it!

  14. 🙂

    argy mou, don’t be afraid! you could always hide up the back row of the class like i do. but it really is theraputic. and i personally found it a good arm toner! especially if you concentrate on your punches and really put everything into em! the best thing overall though has definitely been the weights 🙂

  15. I could never do Body Combat cos the thought of kicking and punching air does nothing for me. I’ve not done kickboxing but I’ve done boxing classes and I love them. I want to get some focus mitts so I can do it at home but my crappy friends and family are too scared to box with me.

  16. Hey from Luxembourg! I’m a huge fan of your blog, i read it regularly. This is the first time i comment i think…. Anyway, i know what you mean when you say you enjoyed punching people, i felt the same way when i joined a kickboxing class a few yrs ago, it’s very liberating 🙂 I did it for a few months and felt the pain of it through and through up until i got hit in the face ?! and had a nice blue eye the day after, that girl wat a real bitch 🙂 Anyway now i stick to woohoo classes and taebo (punching and kicking thin air is still destressing) But yes you should definitely put that down as a new sporty activity… It’s really a shame your knee hurt so badly after that, knee injuries are tough! but i still think you rock and you’ve reached the people of little Luxembourg too 😉 x

  17. Even though you had to retreat, you still had an awesome time. If you can get a hold of some gloves/pads, you could try this thing my trainer has me do. She sits on my feet with the pads, and I have to do full situps, and hit both pads hard with cross punches at the top of each situp. It’s so incredibly hard! But satisfying at the same time.

  18. “Call the Ambulance” red – I *love* it! I’ve so been there.

    Aren’t you just the cutest thing in your new frock! Sassy, even.

  19. Don’t worry about the temporary setback. Just strengthen up that knee and I’m sure you’ll be punching the hell out of people in no time!