My knuckles are burning….and I like it.

It doesn't look like much...but it hurts!

<– This (and a matching one on the other hand) are my first official kickboxing battle wounds. So what if it’s only because I’m not smart enough to wrap my hands before putting gloves on? I still think I’m a badass.

I started cardio kickboxing about 2 months ago, with my mother in tow. During the month of April, two days a week we were stuffed into a room with about a dozen other women (and a few men here or there) and asked to kick and punch large camouflage bags until we couldn’t lift our legs anymore. A small woman dressed in black would yell instructions at us – instructions I sometimes would fail to understand, kicking with the opposite leg or throwing an uppercut when my knee should have been lifted into my chest – and afterwards we would “cool down” with a few exercises that made my stomach muscles feel like someone had poured kerosene on them and lit them with a match, all while breathing in the scent of each other after an hour’s worth of sweat. Mmm.

And you know what? I loved – and STILL love – every minute of it. After spending the majority of my teenage life cradled in a hammock-like brown chair in front of my television, game controller in hand, or hidden under the covers in front of my laptop, I am proud to say that I have finally discovered the benefits (both physical and mental) of serious exercise and I will never go back. Never ever.

Reasons I Let a Five-Foot-Nothing Bad Ass Instructor Kick my Booty a Few Days a Week:

1) I’ve heard of others getting a “high” off exercise. The only high I had ever heard of before that came from an illegal substance. But you know what? After an hour of kickboxing, I’m pretty sure I could scale a small skyscraper or save a city from it’s untimely doom.

2) My health (obviously). I’m grateful for becoming concerned about it while I’m still young. Keeping the gym in my daily routine has affected my food choices, too.

3) My physique (obviously). Ok, so I’m not completely satisfied with this one at the moment (who ever is, really?) but my confidence level has risen from about a 3 to an 8 in the past year.

4) The main reason for my stubborn lovehandles, but a love I could never give up. Kickboxing at least helps me feel a little less guilty after drinking 2 or 3 of these. 😉

5) My clothes fit better. I get compliments. I can rock a short haircut better than I ever could, when my cheeks looked like they were filled with walnuts. BUT, most importantly, I feel good.

New hairs (without last year’s fat head):

Nice PF shirt, eh?

Point: Live life. Be healthy. Do something productive that will give you that same “high” – but do it legally. 🙂

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