A Surprising Benefit of Kickboxing

“The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment.”

-Eckhart Tolle

I love to run.

need to run.

Running became my mental release during the awkward middle-school years.

And it’s been my go-to exercise since then. It’s a predictable companion, clearing my head of garbage every time. I work through a lot puzzles during a solid run.

I run every Sunday.

But on Saturday mornings, I take a kickboxing class at my gym.

Kickboxing gets results, no doubt. I burn close to 600 calories in 60 minutes. It’s intense and tones my body fast.

Love that!

But my favorite benefit is how it forces me to stay in the moment. 

1, 2, 3:  When I’m counting, I cannot think about anything other than jab/cross, uppercut, roundhouse. Kickboxing is a mind eraser. The class is so intense it slaps me present. I cannot plan, daydream, ruminate. The core sequences change weekly, thus I must dial into an eight count.

Trippin’ Rudey: If I do not pay attention the sequence, I will punch myself in the face or fall. It’s that simple. I will fall flat on my face and embarrass myself. That’s motivation enough. Keep up, or fall. That’s why I spend my time flowing to the beat of the class. It’s hard to believe I was on my high school pompom team.

House Banging Party: Music stops the madness in my brain. Music enhances mood – it’s science. And when the music overpowers, like a lemming, I follow. The kickboxing music is hard-banging pop/house, and it makes me move.

Let ‘em Have It: I’m not pro-violence, but if I’m irked at someone or something – like the aggravating parking lot situation at my school – I punch it out. I get immense satisfaction hitting and kicking the air. The act of slamming my fists into the air is an amazing medium to remove built-up frustration.

Challenge Myself: I know I’m there for one hour. It’s one hour all about me, and I want to work my body strong. The fast punching and kicking is challenging and builds cardiovascular endurance. I love how, week after week, kickboxing doesn’t get easier. The better I get, the harder I punch. I’m learning to incorporate my whole body in the technique.  The roundhouse, back kick remains a roundhouse, back kick, but it doesn’t resemble the roundhouse, back kick of my first weeks at all.

Do you kickbox? I’d like to try a class with gloves and bags. They have it at my gym. The class times are weekday mornings, so I’ll check it out this summer.

Ciao for now.

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