The Beginning of an Obsession With MMA

A few weeks ago I was on a boxing kick. I’m sure many of you noticed. I’d been wanting to try out a sport I could actually enjoy doing, and one that would make me feel stronger. I found a local kickboxing class (there weren’t any women’s boxing classes in my area) that also teaches MMA. I’m new to martial arts and fighting, so I didn’t really know the difference. I knew nothing about MMA and I’d never watched a UFC fight all the way through. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, to say the least.

Because I’m going to be blogging about it a lot, I’m going to give you all the run down. We can learn together.

First, here’s a look at my gym. The cool part? There are no treadmills or douche bags. The only bags around are punching bags, which this little kid is punching the shit out of. There’s also a martial arts class going on in the back of the gym. It’s in the seedy part of town, but it gives the whole experience a bit more character if you ask me.

fighting gym

What’s our class like? We spend 90 minutes running, doing push-ups, army crawls, squats, and essentially we’re dripping with sweat about 15 minutes in. About 30 minutes into class, I feel like I just showered. In my own sweat. To say the class is hard is an understatement. I’ve been easing into it–going once a week and letting my body recover for at least two days afterward. Stretching and walking or running when you’re not in class is essential. Otherwise, you can’t walk. Literally.

This week is the first week I’m trying to go the full four days. To be able to do this, that means I run on the weekends and sometimes in the morning. I stretch a lot, I eat a lot of protein, I take hot baths in Epsom salt, and I wear compression sleeves on my legs when I go to bed.

And I’ve only just begun.

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I won’t be doing Fitspiration on this blog, nor will I turn into one of “those people”; however, when I get into something, I’m all in. I’m sharing my training here because a few months ago I didn’t think I could even start jogging because I was at my largest weight and I want to track my progress here–mental and physical. I also know I’m not the only person in the world who has gotten out of shape and is intimidated to jump back into working out. If you want more #KickAsspiration, follow my Kickboxing/MMA Training board on Pinterest.

The End of Summertime

Summertime is ending (or has ended) for most of us. I’m looking forward to going back to school next week, because it’s generally a lot less stressful than most jobs. I’m also looking forward to continuing what I’ve started this week–a really heavy workout schedule. I’m starting to love it. It reminds me of high school (a whole 10 years ago!), when I used to play soccer and run cross country. Some summers our cross country team would drive up to the mountains, where the weather was cooler and our coach would drop us off 10-15 miles away from our destination–a German restaurant on top of the hill. From there, we’d do our best to run up and down hills in a higher elevation than we were used to. I was usually the slowest runner on the team, it being my first season, and that ended up being kind of cool because my coach, Mr. Dennis, would run to meet the last runner and coach us back.

Mr. Dennis was a world-class coach. He was very positive and made me feel like an Olympian just for finishing the 10 mile run without stopping. It was there that I started to love running–in those moments when Mr. Dennis would coach me, telling me how strong I was getting physically and mentally. He wasn’t in it for him, he was looking out for me. Pushing me to become stronger.

I miss those 10 mile runs, not because they’re easy but because I miss the coaching. My mind would be fighting me, telling me to stop because I was exhausted and all of a sudden, I’d see Mr. Dennis coming down the hill running to meet me. And then I was able to push through that mental block and finish pushing myself.

My summer was also filled with 5k’s and a long run from our desert town to the beach. Our team members each took turns running a few miles, for about 12 hours. When we were finished, we all took showers and grabbed dinner. I was exhausted, but it was that kind of training that made our team champions in many of our races. Being around great runners and great athletes made me cognizant of a mental fortitude we all have and we can all tap into. We all have it inside of us, and sometimes we just need to push ourselves and find what works.