Seven a.m. on a Saturday morning may seem like a strange time to be kicking and punching to music but that’s exactly what’s on the agenda today. Before this Kickboxing class begins I’m curious and a little worried about how my body will hold up to what is sure to be a high impact workout.
It’s fortuitous then that my friend Richard Peek comes in to class about two minutes late and sets up camp next to me. I saw Richard here last week when I came for the 8 a.m. Power Pump class so he must be a regular at the Saturday morning Kickboxing class.
Richard is a highly regarded physician who specializes in care of the spine. I’ve been to his office to seek his advice about my finickey back so he knows about my “issues”. When he comes in I half-jokingly tell him I’m glad he’s here in case I need his care. Richard replies that this workout is a great one for the core but to take it easy on certain kicks. Sure enough, when we start doing back kicks, which puts my spine in a jarring extension, Richard suggests I avoid it. So, I switch to front kicks and make it through class just fine.
By the way, before class started I went up and spoke to LeeAnn, the instructor and told her that my back was iffy and I might need to modify some things. She assured me that any adjustment I needed to make would be absolutely fine with her. I’m saying all this because it’s important for anyone taking group exercise class to err on the side of keeping oneself safe. If the whole class is doing something that seems like it might cause you harm then don’t do it. No teacher will ever be upset by anyone modifying an exercise for safety’s sake.
LeeAnn offers a class that is high energy and challenging but also fun. It looks like she might have some martial arts training in her background as her kicks are all high and snappy. Along with the kicking and punching she also throws in some agility exercises that look like something speed skaters might do for training. We also do phantom jump roping, jumping jacks and ducking and weaving exercises. At the end of class we do some ab work because what would a day be without working over the abdominal muscles. The hour goes by quickly, it’s enjoyable and a terrific workout.
LeeAnn started teaching group exercise classes during her sophomore year while enrolled at the University of Arkansas. When she moved to Little Rock this summer to begin a PhD program at UAMS in Cell physiology, she contacted the LRAC to see about teaching for us. She started teaching at the Club last August, the same time as her graduate school classes started. She says she loves the stress relieving aspect of Kickboxing and has become attached to the regulars who frequent her class each week. Last week, one of those regulars told me that LeeAnn’s class was her favorite one on our entire schedule.
This morning on a beautiful Spring Break Saturday, LeeAnn still attracts 10 aspiring ninjas to her Kickboxing class. The $25 gift certificate goes to Rhonda Coldren.