Duo takes on kickboxing

Art+by+Paige+Martin

Art by Paige Martin

Trisha Chaudhary

Art by Paige Martin
On our journey to try as many Wilson‘s classes as we could, we found body combat was next on our list.
We’d heard of this class from our friends and had even gotten a taste of it when an instructor came to our health class in ninth grade. It seemed like the perfect package: get a workout and learn how to fight. Arriving with few minutes to spare, the room was already packed with women and men. A few friendly class-goers pointed out that we would want to spread out some more to avoid hitting others or being hit by flailing limbs ourselves.
The instructor, a muscular, intimidating woman with biceps and calf muscles as big as our thighs, got started right away. While she yelled into her headpiece, we fell into step with everybody else, bouncing through a warm-up.
The class started with complicated footwork and fast beats, hardly leaving time for us to slow down and learn the moves. It felt as if everyone there already knew what they were doing and the whole room could see our missteps. The mirror walls seemed to scream of our mistakes. Of course, this was ridiculous. No one was really watching us, we weren’t the only newbies in the class; it was just one of those situations where embarrassment turns to irrationality.
After a few minutes of reddened cheeks and embarrassed smiles, we managed to catch on to the “fancy” footwork, which was basically just skipping back and forth while punching. We learned straight punches, upper cuts (hitting the chin from below) and hook punches (hitting the side of the face). We kept our bodies low to the ground and our elbows in, punching with all our might. After a couple of arm sets, the instructor added some kicks and knee thrusts, and the increased tempo of the music (We know-how fast can it get?).
We felt strong. We felt powerful. We felt unbeatable.
It wasn’t until we caught a glimpse of ourselves in the mirrored walls that we realized just how ridiculous we looked: stringy hair and sweaty faces, punching and kicking the air (Ashleigh especially embarrassed herself in an attempt to jump up and kick, instead somehow slamming herself in the knee.).
As ridiculous as we may have felt or looked, the class really was a workout. Much to our demise, the instructor managed to work lunges into the workout, leaving our calves and thighs burning, which would add to the shoulder and back soreness we would experience the next day. Halfway through the work out, our lungs and throats burned, just like the feeling you get when you run in the cold. As pathetic as we felt, our biggest regret was not bringing water bottles.
Managing to combine cardio with muscle building, body combat was a good way to burn calories and tone our bodies. The crowd was friendly and the instructor, though intimidating at first, was kind and patient. The most important rule we learned from this workout session: always bring a water bottle .
By Trisha Chaudhary and Ashleigh Atasoy