How I Met My Three Luvs: strength training, spinning & boxing

images (28)On May 18th my 4th session of boxing classes will start.

  • I’m excited.  
  • I’m thrilled!  
  • I’m terrified (mostly of the conditioning part).  
  • I’m anxious.
  • …and I can’t wait to hear the sound of the glove hitting the bag.  I know it sounds a bit on the loopy/crazy side that I like to hit things and make really awesome sounds but really…there isn’t anything else like it for me.  

Oh boxing…you are one of my luvs.  🙂

I’ve been talking and encouraging everyone at The Journey’s Facebook page to try new things.  I wrote about the three letter word “TRY” last week.  Even in my classes that I taught this past week I mentioned how we need to invite our friends and encourage them to do something new.

You might be thinking…here is another fitness nut that is telling me to do something that is so easy for them.  Maybe you are thinking, “Jessica…you’ve always just done this stuff.  You don’t know what it’s like to try new things. ” 

Oh, really?!?  Let’s do a quick recap to just see how I started doing some of the things that I now luv:

  • heavy strength trainingI started this part of my journey on October 31st, 2011.  (You can read all about this part of my journey on my original blog) I didn’t actually do the heavy stuff right off the bat but I started the learning process and using dumbbells and bodyweight exercises more.  Before I was only doing cardio and spinning and I just wasn’t getting the scale or that pesky tape measure to move…at all.  It didn’t matter what I ate.  It didn’t matter how many calories I was burning on the treadmill.  It didn’t matter how many minutes I spent on a cardio machine.  NOTHING WAS MOVING!  You know how frustrating that is to get up early every morning and not see progress?  I was about ready to give up and just start sleeping in again.  I reached out to a friend that was a trainer who worked in Missouri and we formed a relationship where I started to get some help from him and exercises.  At some point in this 6 month process there was a moment where I realized that what I was lifting was fun and that I could really lift some heavy weight.  I had a lot of inspiration from a group called Girls Gone Strong too…which I was introduced to at this point of my journey.  At one point I was doing a new exercise called the Glute Hip Thrust.  I was starting this exercise with a weight that I thought was heavy…that is until I saw some videos of what other woman were doing.  Holy Cow!  These little woman were lifting SO MUCH!  There was a challenge put out by them to get to a certain weight with this exercise and after working and working on this goal…I hit it.  
  • Spinningmy oh my…that room can be a scary one.  I would walk by this room that was dark and had loud music and just keep my eyes focused on the treadmills in front of me.  I would see people leaving these classes covered in sweat and wonder why in the world anyone would want to work that hard.  I met a new friend at the gym who, turns out, we had a lot in common and our kids were involved in a lot of the same activities.  She told me one morning that I should join her at spin class…she would be there and I could sit next to her.  I blew her off and did not want any part of that class and said that maybe someday I would try it, but in my mind I really didn’t think I ever would.  In my reflection of this I really didn’t think I could do this class.  Mostly though…I didn’t want to do this by myself or look like a failure.  What if I went to the class and she didn’t show up?  What if I went and I couldn’t finish or do what was asked?  One day, after a lot of asking from my friend, I did go to the class and my friend encouraged me the entire time.  I can honestly say though that if I didn’t have friendships in that class I never would have gone.  Today…I am teaching two spin classes at two different places in town.  Who knew that would happen?  Here is my first post about spin class.  🙂
  • BoxingOnce again, friendships rule.  The closest that I’ve ever done to boxing was Tae-Bo during that big craze.  I’ve always driven by this dingy looking building and wondered what was inside.  One of my friends saw this boxing class offered through our community ed in town and asked if I wanted to join her.  I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to but I thought…if she is trying it I can try it with her and we can do this together.  Turns out…we were both hooked with this new experience.  😉  Now, would I have tried this class on my own?  I doubt it.  Below is a little recap of my first day at boxing class…when I walked in the gym with what I am sure was a look of pure terror.

New gym to visit.
New atmosphere that I have only seen on t.v.
New gym accessories.  🙂

Today was the first day of boxing class and I have to say…I really enjoyed it.  The gym is located over by the Y and I have always seen the outside and was always curious what was inside this building.  There is a lot crammed in this little gym.

What I saw:

  • two rings (yes, I even went in them!)
  • a cage type of ring (not sure what that really is but I’ve seen it on tv)
  • lots of free weight type of equipment
  • speed bags
  • several large bags
  • gloves
  • lockers
  • Bibles 
We started with getting in the ring.  We had wraps on our hands and were all set to start.  You could tell that we were all a little bit nervous and really had no idea what we were doing.  The group is very encouraging though and the instructor and his son were very nice and helpful.  (turns out…now that I know them more…not the instructors son)  My thought of what a boxing instructor would be like changed the second I walked through the doors.
In the ring:
We were taught how to hit with our left hand and throw a punch with our right.  The right is really saved for the big punches and to knock someone out.  Yeah…I could knock you out now.  Just kidding 🙂  We were supposed to visualize boxing with someone, like Ali.  Pretty sure Ali would beat me up in less than a second but it was still fun.
Step 2: 
We got on our gloves and started hitting the bags.  Wow.  That was more than fun!  I had sweat dripping off me (no shock there) but so did pretty much everyone else.  We did a lot of intervals…hitting for a minute any way we wanted and then very fast for 30 seconds.  Who knew that intervals carried into other activities like boxing?  I learned how to hit with my left arm, right arm and also upper cuts.  There was even a bag that was shaped like a man.  Hitting that was a lot easier than a bag for some of the hits, especially the upper cut.  It was a lot easier to visualize what I was hitting too.  😉  Ha ha…just kidding.
Side note on the gloves:  when you have gloves on you can’t do anything normal.  Open up a bottle of water…nope.  Wipe your face with a towel…nope.  Tighten your ponytail…nope.  Nothing except hit things.  Such a weird feeling to not be able to use your fingers.
Step 3:
Conditioning.  This is the part that I don’t like so much and didn’t think I would do very well at.  Sometimes we might shock ourselves what we are capable of doing though.
First exercise…laying on the floor, lifting our legs up 6 inches, spreading our feet apart while having them up and bringing them back to the center.  Sometimes we were supposed to hold this for 10 seconds, 20 seconds and it felt like a lot longer too.  Brutal!  
Second exercise:  medicine ball twists.  Do you know what these are?  You sit on the floor, put your feet up a bit after you cross your ankles and balance basically on your butt.  Someone in front of you throws you a weighted ball, you catch it and then twist to the side and then twist to the other side and then throw it back.  This is repeated and you increase the number of twists by 2 with each catch.  Honesty check:  I thought I wouldn’t be able to do this at all.  Reality:  I did this with an 8 lb ball and it was not a problem at all.  I got up to 10 twists.  The guys in the group used a 15 pound ball and some could only do about 4 or 6.  The girls all used the 8 pound (I think we could do more ladies!) and there were 3 of us that got to 10 and 2 of us could have gone more.
image from ohgoshem.blogspot.com

image from ohgoshem.blogspot.com

Here at The Journey, we truly believe that you need to take small steps on your journey in order to get to that big picture that you have for who you want to be.  But…those steps require some effort on your part, even if they are little steps.  You have to TRY.  This is a little word but it can have a HUGE impact on your life.

When we encourage you to TRY…sometimes that means we might also need to be the person that encourages someone else.  In all three of my luvs 1) strength training, 2) spin 3), boxing…someone encouraged me to try.
Here is my challenge for you…
1)  find a friend…and encourage them to try something with you that you luv.  You may just be introducing them to something that will truly change their life for the better.
2) If you don’t have someone who is encouraging you…I will be your BFF and I am telling you right now, “GO TRY SOMETHING NEW!”  Pretend that I am screaming that in your ear just like Jillian screams at her clients on The Biggest Loser…but I am just a tad nicer.  🙂
3)  Need some accountability?  Write us a comment or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/smallchangesbigpicture.
Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams

– Jessica

Jessica has had her own journey and has lost 80+ pounds and has learned lots of new luvs on this journey.  You can read more about her at our about page.  
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