Once upon a time, I was a sword swinging, lance wielding, stage combatant/jouster/protector of the Greenwood/mythopoetic archetype. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked*.
I needed something physical to keep me occupied. Never having been a big one for the gym (have good intentions, join gym, go twice, lose motivation, rinse, repeat), I decided to try something different. On a dear friends recommendation, I sought out a studio that offered vinyasa yoga. Alas, there was nothing close to hand. There was, however, a little gym that offered fitness kickboxing classes: a full hour of intense cardio, bodyweight strength training, abdominal work, and – best of all – pummeling a heavy bag. I decided to give CKO Warwick a go.
Though it was eight(!) years ago, my first class remains etched in my memory. The configuration of the bags allowed me to hide in a corner (where I remained for the first several months), though I’d later realize that with such an intense workout no one was paying attention to anything except the bag in front of them. No time, nor inclination, for judgment. First hurdle was not intentionally missing the target. Second hurdle was reigning in my excitement. “Pace yourself,” the instructor told me at about minute 12. Minute 18? I was gasping. I was also hooked. So much so, in fact, that within a year I was an instructor.
The gym has gone through changes. The workout is constantly being refined and reinvigorated by the amazing founders/trainers at the MotherShip in Hoboken. The Warwick branch came under new management several years past, and has nurtured a true family atmosphere and personal approach to training. And yes, I’m a seasoned instructor, but I keep training on my own, learning new things to bring to the table. Best of all, as a 40 something work-in-progress, I still adore taking classes. Eight years on and it’s still challenging, still exciting, and still makes me gasp and wheeze and groan and curse in the very best possible way.
These days I also round out my routine with yoga, HIIT, hiking, strength training, and – on occasion – running. You want to stay well rounded. But honestly? Nothing compares to that hour on the bag, pretending you’re training with Wildcat or Ollie or Cap or Iroh. Every flying kick decimates a henchman, every backslap/elbow/knee floors a Fire Nation soldier.
That might just be me.
But really, who doesn’t want a workout that feels like story time, that rolls by like play? If you have the chance, try it. First one’s free! 🙂
* I’m a nerd.