I’ve written about kickboxing a few times in my gratitude posts already, but if you’ve hung out with me recently, you will have heard me talk about this sport non-stop.
The greatest part about taking up something new, is the feeling you get when you see yourself making progress, getting better. I’ve been kickboxing consistently for a little over a month now, and the incredible thing about the sport is that no matter how much progress I see in my technique, there is always a new move to learn–and a new muscle group to target.
Kick boxing is a full-body workout, to which my anguished muscles can attest! Head and neck, shoulders and back, arms, abs, glutes, thighs, calves, shins–every single one of these muscles have been taking turns aching. The progress of slowly building and toning muscle and learning to punch and kick a bag is way slower than you would think. It takes time, practice and perseverance to learn the techniques properly (safely). Muscle memory is an incredible thing, but the repetition required to get to the point where your muscles take control of the move naturally is obscene. However, as my technique and my muscle tone improves, so does my overall ability to kick some major butt!
Tonight in class we did an exercise that was reminiscent of my ballet years. Standing at the wall, we lifted and lowered our legs, slowly chambering the proper form of a roundhouse kick: knee up and shin turned at a 90 degree angle parallel to the floor, leg extends out straight for the kick and comes back into the starting position before lowering to the ground. We did this one move over and over and over again… and then we switched sides. I can feel how strong my legs have gotten, and can’t wait to see just how much stronger they are going in another few months of training. Even still, my hip flexors and glutes and lower abdomen are screaming right now, and only God knows if I’ll be able to walk down stairs or even get out of bed tomorrow.
Today I am grateful to my sore muscles because they are a symbol of my hard work and determination, not only in my training, but also in my life. The aches and pains of my muscles are making me a stronger and more powerful athlete, one who has the ability to face any challenge with flexibility, strength, purpose and grace.