Why I Climb

I have to retract a statement. In a recent post I called kickboxing “the only workout I can stand.” It turns out that was a lie. I guess I didn’t know myself as well as I thought. You see, I’ve taken up rock climbing and I am smitten. 

climbing

Grace in motion.

A couple of years ago my boyfriend, Brian, and I were walking through the local Apple Harvest Festival and stopped by a tent for the nearby rock climbing gym. The young man who was manning the booth gave us a couple of free passes. In our joint quest to get in better shape, we finally used those passes in March. I was feeling a little worse for the wear after throwing myself whole hog into cardio boxing. I went to three classes in 7 days and by the last class I was seeing improvement in my cardio stamina but my abs were D.O.N.E. We got to the last 15 minutes of class and I could hardly pick my legs up off the ground. I’m pretty sure I pulled a muscle.

So when Brian asked if I wanted to finally use our climbing passes that weekend, I lept at the excuse to not have to go back to the boxing gym right away. We took a belay class and were unleashed on the gym.

We haven’t looked back since.  Continue reading

Kickboxing: The Only Workout I Can Stand

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Flickr Creative Commons, Phicen Kickboxing, Edward Liu

It’s been a while since I kickboxed, but it was, by far, my favorite form of exercise. It’s the only thing that ever got me looking forward to class, and kept me coming back 3 or 4 times per week. Now, I’m thinking about getting back to it again, but all kickboxing classes are not created equal.

There are a few things I really love about kickboxing:

  • I don’t need to do anything else. My favorite class incorporated 15 minutes of ab work at the end of class, after I’d punched and kicked an inanimate bag into submission. Then we would stretch. There was no need for any other kind of work out.
  • I’ve never liked exercising for the sake of exercising. I don’t like to run just to run, or lift weights just to lift weights. But with kickboxing I felt like I was learning to defend myself, which made it feel like more than exercise.
  • I like to hit stuff. Let’s be honest, we all spend a lot of time being more civilized than we might like. I don’t yell at other drivers, or cuss out strangers in parking lots. But hitting stuff is fun!

Continue reading