I’m actually typing this blog with my nose. It is the only part of my body I can control to any degree right now. It is Wednesday night and I am writing my Thursday blog now because I’m fairly certain I won’t be able to do it tomorrow.
For the first time in about 10.5 months, I attended a kickboxing class tonight. Before my knee surgery, I attended class with Karin’s Kicking Fitness three times a week. I. LOVED. IT. The class is hard, hard work if you really get into it. You can take it easy on yourself if you like and hardly break a sweat, but I don’t. I work hard and smell like a goat when I leave. Here’s the thing: if I’m going to take it easy on myself, I’m going to be on the couch and some beer drinking and hockey watching are going to be involved. If I’m going to pay to attend an exercise class, then, by golly, I’m exercising.
My first class was on Valentine’s Day 2012. I attended three times a week until late July when I hurt my knee (not in class, by the way). During those six months, I missed no more than three classes and became a beast! I was in the best shape of my life, hands down. My core was strong. I could do push ups on my toes and first two knuckles. Squats, lunges, planks, mountain climbers, boot strappers, burpies – bring ’em on! While the classes got easier, they were never easy. Again, I. LOVED. IT. And I have missed it terribly.
Fast forward now through those lazy 10.5 months of The Great Regain and we get to tonight. I was so excited to be able to go to class. I had my knee in a brace and, because Karin is a physical therapist assistant who had worked with me during recovery, I was confident that she would watch me to make certain that I didn’t do anything to hurt myself. My confidence was well placed. She watched me and suggested some adjustments that would give me a good workout, but that would protect that knee. The workout was hard – harder than I remember. There were a couple of times when I was afraid I might have to excuse myself to go “call some dinosaurs.” I managed to hang on, though, and made it through with my dignity mostly intact.
As you decide to exercise, my advice is:
- talk to your doctor to make sure your body can handle it – seriously, a heart attack on the treadmill is just a buzzkill for everybody,
- consult a professional (a certified personal trainer, if possible) and ask for their help in developing a program that works for you,
- DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY! If you hate it or just tolerate it, you’ll never stick with it.
Tonight, I drove home with my knees, can’t lift my arms and had to pretty much fall out of the car when I arrived at the house. The four-inch step to the stoop required a Herculean effort. Thursday, I may have to pay someone to apply my make-up, brush my teeth and do my hair. Friday, I’ll likely start crying the moment I wake. Saturday, class is at 8 AM and I’ll be there because, yep, I. LOVE. IT.
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