Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sitting is the new smoking or why I joined a kickboxing gym

“How are you feeling?”


I had been asked this same question three times in as many days.

First, my friend who taught an exercise class I used to go to when it worked with my schedule. I told her about my thyroid problem.

Then, my doctor’s office. I was in for a follow up visit. They can’t figure out what is wrong with my eye. It’s viral conjunctivitis! No, it’s blepharitis! No, it’s still there – the unsightly bump on my lower eyelid which prompted me to throw out ALL my make up and go barefaced for six weeks.

Lastly, my massage therapist. I see a massage therapist to try to undo my 20 years of working at a desk job. I don’t know if I can finish my career at a desk job without some sort of drastic change.

[bctt tweet="Sitting is the new smoking: 20 years at a desk job takes its toll." username="carolineposer"]

Human doing vs. human being

Why I joined a kickboxing gym“Sitting is the new smoking,” my mechanic informed me a while back. It stuck with me. It’s seriously bad for your body to sit all the time, but it’s not like I can snap my fingers and change careers.

Not only do I sit at my desk, I sit in a car, driving my youngest to hockey and baseball, and my middle to work, which is an hour round trip for me. As my friend commented the other day, “I am my kids’ Uber.”

Blah blah busy month blah blah: Travel for college visits, catching up with work, new puppy, son’s arm infection, another son’s ingrown toenails, the FAFSA, more college visits, concerns about husband’s health and recovery from knee surgery, too much caffeine, too much Halloween candy. It’s the same old story.

I told my friend, “I don’t know how I feel. I have been too busy “doing” to feel anything. I’m not sure the thyroid med dose is right yet, either.”

I told the doctor, “I haven’t really thought about it that much but it’s clearly not better and I should have followed up two weeks ago like the original orders said but I have been busy...and while I’m here, should I get my blood work done to see about my meds are right?”

I told my massage therapist, “I feel like I am falling to pieces. Anything that can go wrong because of too much sitting is wrong.”

Needing to make a change

Sitting can be deadly, according to CNN, even if you exercise. You have to get up and take regular movement breaks.

Having a new puppy helps me get out of my seat more often, but still, I really can’t avoid the fact that I have to get off my ass and quit putting myself last.

So, when I saw social media special for three kickboxing classes and free gloves, I jumped all over it was intrigued. I would like to say I signed up right away, but it took me a few days to think about it.

  • I’m too old.

  • I’m too uncoordinated.

  • I’m too out of shape.

  • The gym is too far away.

  • Can I really hit and kick a heavy bag?

I could think of so many excuses, but just needed one reason.

Stop with the excuses

The reason is that I need to take care of myself…I keep saying this. I know it’s life and death. The hard part is, it’s not like immediate life and death, like do I jump off this cliff or not. It’s a looooooong, sloooooooow, gradual death as I continue to sit and melt into my chair as my body gets softer and flabbier and I accumulate more fat around my middle.

So, I worked up the courage and signed for the kickboxing classes online. A short while later, I got a call from the manager (Robbie) to schedule my first class. (You need to work one on one with someone the first time so they can explain how to do everything.)

Ugh, I thought. I wasn’t going to be able hide.

I showed up at the wrong place at the appointed time. Tori, the woman who answered the phone, was encouraging (I think I called twice!). By the time I made it to the right place, it was too late for my pre-class interview. The woman who met me at the door, Samira, actually hugged me and told me, “We want you to have the best experience possible; you’re going to need to reschedule.”

So I went back later that same day and instead of the small class that I would have attended, it was a huge, loud evening class taught by Robbie! (My biggest fear: I definitely couldn’t hide.)

Even though my trainer, Jenna, guided me through the whole thing (with almost unbelieveable cheerfulness), it was extremely humbling to realize how uncoordinated and out of shape I am was: pushups, wall sits, burpees, V-sits. Uhm, no. Just no.

I gasped, sweated, and got tripped up on the boxing moves with the heavy bag. I kept messing up on the partner drills. I could barely get off the mat during the final stretches.

I struggled made it through the class, had my “exit interview” and staggered out, legs wobbly…feeling elated.

Going for it

I couldn’t wait to go back.

The benefits are far more than just a good physical workout. I feel more confident, my self-esteem has improved, little stressors don’t bother me as much. The people at the gym are encouraging and the environment is uplifting. It’s nothing at all like going to a gym where everyone wears earbuds and ignores you and all you and you’re on your own. Every class, there are people who lead and teach and give you fist bumps.

So I joined.

But no one will see it

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