The Fighting Life, etc

So, almost six months into fighting classes, and I’m still loving this kicking-ass thing.

Had a good class last night. Wore a newer sort of shirt that really, only waifish petite women should wear (says the media – smaller straps, more breathable material, tight-fitting), but damn I was comfortable, and when I got a look at myself in the mirror, I didn’t look ridiculous so much as I looked scary. My upper body is starting to get slightly impressive, and I’m a lot denser than I used to be. Still, I’m big. I can hurt people. I always wonder if bigger-than-average guys (height and weight) internalize the Fat Kid label as much as women like me absorbed the Fat Girl label. I always suspect that big guys were told they were just Really Impressive.

So I’m looking forward to Wednesday classes more this time around (format changes every month, to keep our bodies guessing) because we’re doing bag work and no jump roping. Worked on krav maga drills, broken up by squats, push-ups, and plank position feats of fancy requiring good balance and a really strong core.

I’ve been looking at my Saturday morning pilates class as a low-intesity warmup before boxing class or just a great way to start my Saturday morning (on the days I skip the boxing class that follows it), but after a couple of pilates classes in addition to my usual routine, I’ve really noticed a difference in strength levels. I wonder how much of it has to do with just breaking up my routine and doing something totally different.

My leg strength is also finally starting to catch up to my upper body (yea, I have no problem carrying my roommate around the house on a lark, but doing wallsits for a minute is still painful). I was doing front leg roundhouse kick drills last night, and it’s this really elegant thing – you’ve got your left foot turned out away from where you’re kicking, and you take up your right leg and snap it at the bag, pointing the toe, and wallop with the front of your pointed foot. Then snap back, bring the pointed toe to the floor, then do it again.

It requires a lot of balance, which means a lot of strength in your legs and abs, and last night was the first time I’d done the kicks where I consistently felt really elegant doing them. Sure, it’s still like, “Wow, I have this huge body,” (I’ve actually stopped comparing myself to most of the women in class except the Amazons, and started comparing myself to the men of my same belt rank – we’re closer in height/weight and of course, experience level) but this time around it was, “Wow, I have this huge body, and I can really make it do this elegant, powerful stuff.”

Looking pretty when you wallop someone is a great added bonus.


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