I’m in the midst of being consumed by a brain-melding fog. A slight haze is normal for me off and on, but today, I’m so fogged over that if I was a car I’d only be able to see the road a foot in front of me.
Fog happens when a) I’ve been stuck inside too long during those gray winter months b) when I’ve been stressed out for too long or c) if I’ve worked out hard.
Today’s fog is from yesterday’s work out. For the last four weeks, I’ve been nursing a pulled calf muscle. Yesterday was the first time I really worked out hard, and yes, I went back to kickboxing.
My kickboxing routine is as follows: wake up and start talking myself into going to the gym while fixing breakfast and sending family members out the door. Then my anxiety sets in; anxiety while I’m stuffing myself into compression pants and a sports bra. Anxiety while pooling together anything I may need at the gym (finding a clean water bottle and adding ice, hoping my wrist wraps don’t reek, an empty gym bag and those pesky boxing gloves). I’m anxious while driving to the gym, timing it just right so that I am not too early or too late for class. And finally, anxiety once the “warm-up” starts.
Warm Up! Ha! It’s not what it sounds like. It’s not a gentle stretch wrapped in a fuzzy blanket and cozy socks and a leg massage. Nope. It’s fifteen minutes of sprints, incline pushups and sit-ups plus hideous things called Burpees and jump squats or mountain climbers (the worst of the go-nowhere types of reps. Worse than the treadmill or stationary bike. You are head down, butt, back, and legs parallel, clawing your way to nothingness!) Oh you’re warm after fifteen minutes, believe me!
I think the name needs to be switched to Gravity Combat or the Echelons of Hell. It’s more appropriate than the ol’ bait and switch of “warm-up.”
I bet the idiom of ‘no pain, no gain’ is probably running through the minds of every poor sap sweating on the floor doing Russian twists! For me, it’s more like ‘more pain, less brain.’
So why do it? Because it’s hard! Because when it’s over, I feel triumphant. And because when every ounce of energy is spent, after sprinting, punching, and kicking through sixty minutes, I feel so damn good!