Just for Kicks

Remember the turkeys who crossed the road, interrupting my morning commute last spring? The ones who reminded me to slow down and enjoy the little things? This is not that kind of story.

Remember the month of mysterious beeping? This is that kind of story.

Yesterday, the second quarter Cardio Kickboxing class began at the gym. I felt good about it. I've done these routines before, in my living room at least.

Things started simply. Two jabs with the right arm, two cross-punches with the left. One hook with the right, one uppercut with the left. Got it? Good. As the instructor said oh so many times yesterday, adding on.

One front kick with the right leg, then one side kick.

From the top:

Jab, jab. Cross (punch), cross. Hook, uppercut. Front kick, side kick. 

Adding on.

At this point, I'd like you to imagine a bird--a chicken will do, or a turkey. (Actually, a turkey might be best--they're a little taller, a little more pear-shaped, and have a longer wing span.) Now imagine that turkey jabbing, cross-punching, uppercutting, and kicking to moderately-upbeat groove. Let's say  Ricky Martin's "She Bangs."

(Go ahead and click the link--you'll be singing along all day.) 

That's what it felt like--I had some sense of the direction I should be moving in and whether it was my arms or legs that should be doing the moving, but overall, everything was wobbly and flappy. 

Here's a picture, if it'll help.

Adding on.

After the right side kick, add a kick to the back. Then switch legs and add a side kick to the left. (Essentially, you'll be kicking in a circle: front, right, back, left). Back to punching: jab, cross, hook, uppercut, uppercut, jab, cross, alternating left and right arms with each move.

Practice that a few times. Adding on: duck-and-swoop right, elbow jab. Swoop left, elbow jab. Shuffle forward three steps (while punching), shuffle back, jump into a squat, jump back to standing. Repeat.

Are you still imaging the turkey? Good. Now multiply that image by thirty. That's how many of us were there shaking our tail feathers.

From the top. (At this point, there's a new song playing. A faster one. Let's go with "La Vida Loca" this time.)

Jab, jab, cross, cross, hook, uppercut. Front kick, side, back, left side. Swoop right, elbow, swoop left, elbow, shuffle-punch front, shuffle back, jump to squat, jump to stand. Repeat (five times).

That was only fifteen minutes of your workout. There are two more rounds to go, each with a new combination of punches, kicks, swoops, and shuffles.


Coming up next week: Bollywood dancing rehearsals for an event on Thursday. (Here's the song. It might help you get Ricky Martin out of your head.)