In the 11 years since my son was born, I’ve, at times, felt my self-perception shift from confident badass who can command a room to a nagging, perpetually stressed-out mom who barely has the time or energy to take care of herself, let alone manage a family, career and so on!
In each of the new activities I’ve recently tried, I’ve found myself exploring aspects of my personality that have always existed but have gotten a little bit “lost” in the ongoing struggles and joys of motherhood. It’s been mind-opening and exciting to become reacquainted with these different facets of myself.
I’ve been using kickboxing and martial arts to channel a part of me that I lost for a bit: my resilience and warrior nature. Enter: Martial arts.
Martial Arts Feeds the Warrior Within
I’m a Gemini, through and through, and that even shows up in my fitness preferences. I love working out but need to be constantly engaged and challenged by new forms of exercise. Some modalities are interesting, some are challenging. I strive to find movement that is both at the same time.
Plus, when you do something your brain and body love, it’s less of a chore and you can more easily succeed in incorporating movement into your daily life. I’m a very strong and muscular woman (apparently my birth father was a bodybuilder, so genetics are on my side!) who believes in channeling my inner force field rather than living on the treadmill hamster wheel as I obsess over my dress size. For me, the point of working out is not about losing weight: it’s about gaining power and becoming a force to be reckoned with in this world.
Getting Back In Touch With My Warrior Goddess
In high school, I found a great dojo and did kickboxing with my girlfriends about three to four times per week. Fast forward 20 years later and I knew I was going to need a guru to guide me. When trying new things, safety is paramount as I didn’t want an injury to set me back in pursuing my goals.
I was introduced to Chris Leben, a former UFC/MMA fighter and WEC Middleweight Champion. His nickname is “The Crippler” so you know he’s not here to play. I train with him at the San Diego Arena, which happens to be the largest Martial Arts school in the country. If you’re lucky enough to live near it, and remotely interested in anything from Filipino Martial Arts to Judo, it’s the gold standard.
The Inner Warrior Kickboxing Workout
Kickboxing may seem less aer
obic than say, Zumba or HIIT. But don’t be fooled: It gets my heart pumping and sweat dripping like no other. The first class was by far the most challenging – I couldn’t last for more than 30 seconds without needing a break. Fast forward to five classes later, I was able to kick and punch for a solid 3 minutes without stopping. Seeing myself improve so much, and so quickly, was the best validation I could imagine.
After each workout, my skin is glowing and I feel like I could burst with pride. Chris is the perfect coach – He’s tough yet encouraging.
The best part of kickboxing is the freedom I feel when I’m on the mat. It’s one of those activities that, like dancing, forces you to rely entirely on your body and its natural instincts. That means turning off your brain, which for me, as a professional over-thinker, is such a relief!
Martial Arts in the Family
Best of all, martial arts has given me a new way to bond with my son: in joint Krav Maga lessons! We learned basic self-defense moves, like how to get out of a choke hold. We have a great time, get a killer workout, and best of all, my son got to see that he shouldn’t mess with mama!
There’s a real confidence that comes from knowing I can protect myself. Now that I’ve channeled my inner warrior, I’m completely hooked. My ultimate goal? Compete in an actual fight.
If you’re interested in trying kickboxing but not quite ready to jump into the ring, or don’t live near a martial arts school, I highly recommend this boxing workout app called Fight Camp. It’s the perfect, low-pressure way to get introduced to the sport while still feeling fierce as hell!
If you found this helpful please share on Pinterest! Here’s a pin to help you do that. Thanks!