For my first class during my personal journey, I decided to sign up for Punch it Out– a monthly class hosted by BKB trainer, Piseth Sam, with a focus on shadow boxing and self defense techniques.
The first thing I noticed when we were all gathered was how diverse the attendees were. A myriad of different genders, ages, body types, skin tones and fitness levels, all helped me feel right at home in my size 14 workout pants. The first exercise was (doom drums) RUNNING around the block. First off, I never run, and as soon as I began I quickly realized I wasn’t going to make it around the block even close to as fast as the rest of the pack. So, instead, I ran down the first street, turned around, and ran back–still plenty of running to get my heart pumping, but not leave me completely winded for class.
The class consists of boxing techniques and other exercises to keep your heart rate up and train you on how to deliver a strong, one-two, punch. Piseth developed Punch it Out last year after the November election results left her feeling a lot of emotions. She channeled those feelings into teaching this class, which makes participants feel tough as nails and ready to fight the good fight!
I channeled some of my own lingering emotions, as well, by utilizing a few of the same visualization techniques when throwing my punches, and it really helped keep that fire going. While I knew my “Punch it Out” skills and form weren’t as good they could be, Piseth encouraged me to keep moving and to just keep punching–my best was more than good enough.
Despite the difficulty in remembering the punching patterns (it might have only been four moves, but staying moving took the lead in occupying my brain and body), I still felt stronger and more powerful at the end of class. Watching other people struggle, just like me, through the patterns alleviated the pressure to be perfect and, ultimately, made us all laugh in solidarity.
At the end of class we all huddled in a circle and thanked one another and our bodies for the time we spent building our strength. The great part about this class is that the entire time I never felt out of place because of how out of shape I feel or think I am. I moved at my own pace and set my own limits, and still felt like I got a good, strong, full-body workout.
I felt like I belonged in that room full of people just punching it all out.
Plus, the techniques Piseth taught me can be done anywhere–at home or even when traveling and on-the-go. Feeling strong made me feel like a superhero.
A bright pink, sweaty, out-of-breath, superhero*…
I recommend this class to beginners who might be intimidated to start classes at BKB. It’s a great foot in the door experience because it allows you to be your weird self and move at your own pace.
Next week… Abby does BOOTCAMP (I die).
*Of course, the day after (and the day after that) I felt a lot less like a superhero (more like a “super-painful-earning-my-muscles-walking-up-the-stairs” hero), but that’s how you know you’re pushing towards your absolute physical potential… right? Right!