<<Even though this gorilla is in good shape, she doesn't belong in my kickboxing class.
I take Tae Bo kickboxing. I LOVE IT. I imagine the people in my life that I hate – and you know who you are – and I punch and kick their faces for an entire hour. It is making me strong as hell and I am now considering trying real boxing. However, there are a few rules I’d like to bring to your attention that need to be enforced not only in my classes, but in exercises classes across the world.
1. RULE 1: If someone has selected spot in the room, it is THEIR property. No matter what. I don’t care if they leave to go potty, I don’t care if they walk away a second to talk to a friend – I don’t care if there’s an earthquake. THAT IS THEIR SPOT AND IT IS NOT YOURS.
Real life example: I was at Tae Bo Fitness in Franklin, TN (and no they have not asked me to write about them. In fact, they are pretty religiousy Christiany and may not appreciate my sporadic use or implication of certain expletives). ANYWAY – I was at Tae Bo and I had selected my spot and walked back for ONE second to put my water down. When I returned my spot was gone. And I was relegated to my second choice of spots which is near the window and I don’t like being near the window because I feel like people on the other side of the window are staring at me. It’s hard being a TV personality. No privacy.
2. RULE 2: If someone is standing in their spot – you CANNOT walk right in front of them and stand. That person has picked this spot strategically. Maybe they are embarrassed and want to be in the back of the room but still have a view of themselves in the mirror. Maybe they are the best kickboxers in the room and therefore would like to be featured prominently in the mirror. I am somewhere in the middle. I don’t feel good enough to be up front but I’m definitely better than the back of the row people (where I started btw).
Real life example: Last week I had claimed my territory. It was perfect. Not too far up front and not too far back. I could see myself in the mirror and I could also see clearly the really good kickboxers. I like to see them because I copy their moves to try to improve. A WOMAN RAN IN AT THE LAST MINUTE. Got right frickin in front of me. I wanted to roundhouse kick her in the back of the head but my leg doesn’t go up that high…YET.
3. RULE 3: Stop bringing your stupid kids to kickboxing. Or any exercise class that adults pay for. Look, I’m all about fitness and health for kids. We know that I took a stand on stopping candy during school parties on Valentine’s Day. HOWEVER, exercise classes for adults are for whom? Come on…who are adult exercise classes for?? If you guessed kids I will plan on roundhouse kicking you in the back of the head very soon. EXERCISE CLASSES FOR ADULTS ARE FOR ADULTS. They are designed to be challenging and difficult to encourage adults to get stronger and better and be healthy. Particularly in kickboxing – which is by far the hardest workout I have ever done and I used to be a Zumba instructor – these classes are about strength, power, balance and working so hard that you sometimes pop veins in your head. ADULT VEINS.
Real life example: We have had some snow days in Tennessee recently. Never mind the fact that there hasn’t actually been any snow – we have had them anyway. That means parents are stuck with kids. And no one leaves their age appropriate kids at home anymore. No sir. We drag them everywhere with us just in case they were to get kidnapped from the couch where they would be sitting playing video games. Despite school closings, we had a Tae Bo class. A lady brought in her two sons – approximate ages were 8 and 10. She and her boys stood IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CLASS and proceeded to participate in kickboxing. Shockingly, the boys were terrible at it. They couldn’t keep up, they didn’t understand what an upper cut was, they had no rhythm and they kept running back to the wall to get water. Of course, Mother Cusser was right behind them. On more than one occasion my roundhouse got dangerously close to the backs of their little heads – and I can reach their heads – but I managed to spare their lives. Their Mother didn’t bat an eye. Didn’t even apologize. How many roundhouse kicks is that now?
4. RULE 4: Grunting is not appropriate unless you’re either doing the wild thing, changing a tire or are a gorilla. We get it. Tae Bo is hard. So are other exercises. That doesn’t mean you need to grunt like a wild boar each time you do a push up. Breathing heavy is fine. Even moaning a little. Or making a joke like, “No more!” But grunting is stupid and it makes me mad. And generally, the people that do the most grunting? They are the ones in the best shape. They do this because when they are doing their 98th plank then push up you will hear their call and you will look over and be impressed and feel inadequate because you stopped ten minutes ago. They want you to feel inadequate.
Real life example: At Tae Bo there is something called TRX. This is where you hold onto these nylon bands and use your own weight to do various really hard exercises. I was next to a grunter. She looked amazing. I’m talking she could be a trainer on The Biggest Loser. Anyway – each and every time we had to do anything she grunted. And not like quiet like, “ugh.” She was loud and proud - “UGGHAHEHREHAHEHAEAHHHHH.” She was so loud that it hurt my ears. She was so loud they heard her in Atlanta. This lady grunted SO LOUD (how loud was she?), that elephants in Africa thought they heard the trumpet to stampede and an entire village was trampled.
5. RULE 5: Tae Bo is not karoke. I like the music at Tae Bo. They use popular music and speed it up. Sometimes it’s Katy Perry. Sometimes it’s Eminem. Prince. I’ve even heard Sir Mix a Lot. I love it. It’s fun and sometimes I sing along. Quietly. To myself. Because to do otherwise would be super annoying. And also to do otherwise would mean I’d be able to breathe while doing Tae Bo – well enough to sing – and anyone that does Tae Bo knows that’s impossible. EXCEPT for those in tip top shape. Like the lady I referred to in Rule 4, real life example.
Real life example: Same TRX class and I’m next to the fit lady who often times sounds like a male WWE wrestler. In addition to her noisy emissions – she also sang along TO EVERY SONG. You know that song, “I’m bringing sexy back” by Justin Timberlake? You know how they say the word, “YEAH” rhythmically throughout the entire song? Fit Lady not only yelled the word, “yeah” each time – but she did it doing her own impression of the voice. “I’m bringing sexy back…YEAH! Those something something know how to act…YEAH! Something something something out of wack…YEAH! Something something something heart attack…YEAH!” And she’s doing this as she’s completing her 198th one legged burpee. I wanted to bring sexy to the back of her head. With my foot, y’all.
Please do me and all of us a favor and adhere to these rules because if you don't...there may be a roundhouse with your name on it.
If you grunt one more time...