Monday, February 15, 2010

Class #1 Monday 5:45 a.m. Kickboxing (Kris)

And so it begins. As Lao-Tzu might have said, if only given the opportunity, “a journey of 110 classes begins with a single kick”.

Waking up a full hour before the sun rises, I’ll admit, isn’t my normal cup of tea. In context, punching and kicking indiscriminately for sixty minutes seems as reasonable a response as any to the shock of rousing so early.

I knew that taking a class from Kris Mougeot at the crack of dawn would not be a walk in the park. Kris is, after all, an incredibly well conditioned athlete. She is one of only a handful of people on the planet to have completed the Raid Gauloises, arguably the toughest endurance/adventure race in the world. (Kris was the only woman on an elite team of five who completed the nine-day, 650-mile race across Vietnam a few years ago). The other thing to know about Kris is – she will beam a huge smile the whole time she’s grinding you into the dust.

Kris Mougeot

Kris is the queen of early morning group ex at the LRAC. She teaches a 5:45 a.m.class each day Monday-Friday so I will be seeing her again (and again). But I’ll spread out my K.M. doses a bit so I stay fresh to keep up in her class.

My classmates this morning were twelve or so enthusiastic women who all seemed to move in perfect unison with our smiling teacher. I’m guessing they’ve done this before. The expert cuing from Kris helped a lot and kept me on the right foot and beat somewhat more than half the time (just wait till Zumba to see a really lost bird).

This class is a fine workout and will definitely help hone your upper-cut, jab and roundhouse kick. Pat gives it two boxing gloves up!

Well, that’s one down, 109 to go. Next up – Flowing Yoga at noon with Mary.

(This morning’s $25 LRAC gift card winner is Mary Kay Godwin. Congratulations Mary Kay!).


Since we are just getting started, I thought it might be in order to explain how/why this whole group exercise quest and blog came about. Following, in no particular order, are the reasons I decided to do this:

1) I’m always looking for ideas for my monthly newsletter article. It had occurred to me on several occasions in the past to do something like this but I always managed (rather easily) to talk myself out of it. Last month, unable to think of another topic to write about, and, swayed by all of the reasons presented below – I decided to go for it.

2) Even though I’ve had 25 years to get through them, I have yet to come close to taking all the classes on our schedule. Over the next ten weeks, I hope to get it done.

3) We have 45 unique and expert instructors and I want to experience each of them teaching.

4) It’s a great way to meet a lot of members and share an exercise experience.

5) I’m taking to heart the adage – “do something every day that scares you”. This project should fill the prescription for about ten weeks.

6) One of my main reasons for rejecting this idea in the past was that I didn’t have the time for it. It occurred to me that attending group ex classes was as much my job as anything else – it was just a matter of re-framing what I view as my daily “work”.

7) Related to #6, I knew that doing this would seriously disrupt my habitual way of living. While comfortable, all those habits can be a sort of prison. Doing something new and different is enlivening while also a little scary.

8) The blog is a way to stick the Club’s (and my) toe into the internet’s social networking pool of possibilities….perhaps by the end of this, we’ll know if that’s a good idea or not.

9) The purpose of the blog is to give a light hearted look at what my experience is in each class. Since most of the classes will be new to me - it will be akin to a member attending a class for the first time. I'll do my best to describe, good and bad, what it's like being in a class for the first time. My hope is that someone reading the blog will see that trying a new class isn't that scary and maybe people will follow my lead and try something new.

10) One self-serving motive is to get more members e-mail addresses (via the prize drawing contest). We’ve found that building a large e-mail list is a great way to communicate to the membership.

11) I figured it would be a pretty good fitness challenge. Frankly, I’m a little worried about my low back holding up. The other concern is the possibility that I wind up looking like Christian Bale at the end of The Machinist….therefore I plan to eat a lot.

12) One of the things I’ve always liked about the Club atmosphere is the aspect of “play”. I think/hope this will be a lot of fun and that’s how I plan to approach it.

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