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Jab, Cross, Uppercut – Duck!

I survived my first kickboxing class without getting a close-up look of the Nike sole pattern in my face. I’m not sure which is more a danger to me, myself or the kicks and punches of my fellow turbo cardio participants. I think the lady to my left was gunning for me, the feisty old broad. And I haven’t even perfected my blocking guard yet!

The yoga class ahead of us was running 10 minutes late, so everyone congregated in the hallway of the elementary school the class is held in. I can’t recall the last time I was in an elementary school, but, wow, I do not miss that government institutionalized look. Just being in a building like that reminded me of the time as a child when adults have complete say over what you do. Walking through the cafeteria on the way in brought back similar sensory memories of bad food and weird smells and annoying classmates. If someone had handed me a lunch tray, I might have had a full flashback to 5th grade food fights and gone catatonic.

As I was sitting there on the hard, compact carpet, thankfully not rocking myself back and forth due to post-traumatic elementary school trauma, I wondered if anyone had actually checked if the door was open. I remember a couple times in high school we’d all get back from lunch and loiter in the hallway outside the door only to discover the teacher had left it unlocked. Of course I fulfilled my part in proving humans are pack animals by being too timid to actually check the door or ask anyone about it. Eventually a girl poked her head in and saw all the yoga students* doing their final rest in a dimly lit gym. Once they exited, we got to start our class.

I did pretty well, especially considering I’ve never done a group aerobics class before. I’d run through a video tape or two at home, but I’ve never belonged to a gym and we never did tapes in PE. This was actually an activity I preferred doing with other people because when other peopled effed up the choreography I felt far less inferior than I would have otherwise, like a Cro-Magnon instead of slime that had just crawled out of the ocean. A lot of people were better at the choreography than me either because they’d been to the Thursday class as well (cheaters!) or they’d taken kickboxing before. But I kept up fairly well, though my definition of “left” and “right” are clearly more flexible than other people’s. This will no doubt eventually lead to an uppercut to my chin.

We only did half a workout because the instructor needed to teach us basic moves, but I was able to survive without collapsing on the shiny wooden floor or being TKO’ed or even KO’ed. I was rather proud that I was not exhausted and there were clearly people there who were more out of shape than me. The last time I was in a school gym I was obviously the poorest athlete in the crowd and now I’m sitting in the middle of the bell curve. It was a nice change of pace, but I need to be more careful about moving my body with the punches and kicks. I tend to want to plant my body still, which will only lead to knee injuries.

*ETA: This originally said “yoga nuts,” but I changed it because the yoga people were offended. I wasn’t trying to use the term “yoga nuts” in a derogative way. I would classify myself as a “Pilates nut” and probably a “health nut” too. And I like nuts a lot, especially cashews. So don’t hate on me, yoga-philes! I may not understand your culture, but I mean you no harm. I guess you only get to use the term “nut” if you are a part of the group you are calling nutty. Since I’m a cashew and not a pistachio, I’ll refrain from using this phrase again.

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Amy • February 21, 2007 at 12:32 pm

I don’t think there’s any real reason to call people who do yoga “yoga nuts”.


bazu • February 21, 2007 at 12:36 pm

I love kickboxing- it’s an intense workout, and it’s really empowering. I want to try boxing too-talk about getting the aggression out! But I love yoga too. There is nothing like it. Don’t hate us yoga nuts- you have to give it a try one day! Once you get into it, you’ll totally understand. =)


PastaQueen • February 21, 2007 at 12:40 pm

Amy & bazu – I didn’t mean the term “yoga nuts” in a derogative way. I would classify myself as a “Pilates nut” and probably a “health nut” too. And I like nuts a lot, especially cashews. I’ll edit the entry with a footnote about this.


digsite • February 21, 2007 at 12:44 pm

I tried kickboxing ONCE and it was just rediculous. The class was so absolutely packed that you couldn’t really throw a true punch because you’d end up giving the person in front of you a concusion. I can totally see how it would have been fun tho, with a 3rd of the people that were in there.

And I can’t think of a better reason for calling yoga nuts “yoga nuts” than wanting to call those nuts “yoga nuts”. :-D


Debbie • February 21, 2007 at 1:31 pm

I feel my middle child peacemaker status coming out here. Can I mediate a truce on the “yoga nuts” issue so we can move on?

Jennette, I think it’s really great that you were able to get through the class without feeling exhausted. It shows how far you’ve come.


Vamp • February 21, 2007 at 1:59 pm

I used to take a water kickboxing class. Hey now, don’t laugh! It was really challenging and easy on the joints and knees. Plus, if deadly ninjas ever attacked me underwater I’d be able to kick some serious ninja butt. ^_^


metamorphose • February 21, 2007 at 4:09 pm

Kickboxing is so much fun! I love it! Glad you did well your first time around in a group kickboxing class.


Rosemary Grace • February 21, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Ooooh, kicky stuff! I did karate for a couple of years, and just took a “turbo cardio kick” class at my gym, we got to hit and kick standing punchbags! So fun. I also plant my body, which is how we did it in karate too. I’m terrible at the bouncy on the toes “stance” for this style. Possibly also reluctant to bounce because then I feel my butt bouncing around too, it didn’t have the benefit of the two maximum strength sports bras trussing my upper bouncy bits.

You have inspired me to give South Beach a try, my husband and I are hitting Phase One on Saturday. Any tips for starting out with it?


aj • February 21, 2007 at 5:40 pm

Go Pasta Queen!

So glad to hear you enjoyed the class and made it through. Curious to hear how your body is feeling the day after your new moves??


mal • February 21, 2007 at 5:47 pm

None of us in our family are particularly graceful or coordinated, but my younger sister got into kickboxing one summer and she LOVED it. She loved it so much that she taught kickboxing as “girl empowerment” classes while she did volunteer work in Chile. During that time, she looked pretty smoking hot, too. Go, PastaQueen. Rawwwrrr!!!


Chris H • February 21, 2007 at 6:12 pm

I did my first combat class this week too, and I think I was the most uncoordinated one there, and felt like a twit, but I loved it. It is fun!


Sara • February 21, 2007 at 7:54 pm

We like health nuts, and cashews, and pistachios…randomly stumbled onto your blog (as it tends to go with blogging) and just wanted to say good luck and good work! You are on the right track! Cheers from the health nut gang over at http://www.marksdailyapple.com


Zoe • February 22, 2007 at 5:36 am

Dear PastaQueen,

I stumbled on your blog a few days ago and I have turned into a fan. I even emailed your URL to several friends under the subject “Best weight loss blog ever”

Way to go on the kickboxing thing. I started with kickboxing-aerobics, to actual kickboxing with sparring and now I am a Tae Kwon Do nut. I confess, I just like kicking ass.

Also a programmer and working to lose weight,



Les • February 22, 2007 at 3:12 pm

You know, I’ve always wanted to go to the yoga, aerobics, and kickboxing classes at the gym, but I’m to…umm…shy, I guess, to be the only guy in the classes. I’m gonna go soon though.


PastaQueen • February 22, 2007 at 3:20 pm

Vamp – Underwater ninjas are by far the most deadly of the ninja family.

aj – I felt pretty good after class. I had a tiny bit of soreness in my sides (obliques?) but nothing serious. I had a bit of pain in my back right after class, so I think I need to watch my form to make sure I’m not twisting strangely or not twisting when I’m supposed to.

Les – I noticed there was only 1 guy in our class of probably 25 people. I felt bad for him because I remember once taking a math test as part of a regional competition and being the only girl there. I hope he keeps coming though! We don’t have cooties…as far as I know.


leora • February 23, 2007 at 12:47 am

You are so cool. you blow my mind.


Paige • February 23, 2007 at 8:52 pm

Way to go, Pasta Queen! I’ve taken a cardio kickboxing class and it was fun, but hurt my knees. You are an inspiration!


MonicaMay • February 24, 2007 at 4:28 am

I have a “name” for people like Kate Winslet and America Ferrara and Kelly Clarkson…how about normal?

Congrats on your success, PQ! :)


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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