I have mentioned Mark's amazing boxing class at the La Cienega 24-Hour Fitness near LAX. It's a butt-kicker. I literally got my booty kicked today. No, really... someone's foot made firm contact with my left butt cheek. Luckily there's plenty of padding and it sent both of us collapsing into each other's arms in fits of laughter. My point is: the class is crowded. I'd guess there are 120 people who show up on Wednesdays. Perhaps more on Fridays. There is a reason for the popularity. The class rocks.
The music is great. The moves are tough. People are there to get a serious workout. Did I mention the fact that within the hour, you can wring your shirt and sweat pours out like water from a faucet? I'm not exaggerating. There is an industrial mop that is used throughout the class because puddles form and you could easily slip if you don't wipe the floor. And the mirrors? Splattered. It is not for the weak-willed or those creeped-out by cooties.
There are people of all shapes, sizes, and ethnic persuasions. You don't have to be an athlete to do this class and move like you mean it. The mood is intense, yet supportive. There are high-5's all around at the beginning and end of the class. People jokingly hoot and holler at those coming in late or leaving early. Mark and the class take turns chanting back and forth to each other, and sometimes it feels more like a concert or dance show than a gym class. Even when we're drenched in sweat after 55 minutes, he asks us "Y'all not tired?" and we all shout back in unison "HELL NO!" There is a vibe is unlike any class I've taken.
The gym is situated 15 miles from my house. I drive past three of my other gyms to get there (have I mentioned that I belong to a number of gyms?). I don't go to La Cienega every week, but I sure love it when I do.
I have been feeling like I've been observing some special people in gyms lately. Read here for last weekend's experience. But today, I spotted someone during the last intense cardio push of the class. This man was completely soaked after 50+ minutes of consistent high-intensity boxing and he was keeping up as well as anyone else- only he was no spring chicken. I guessed him to be in his 60s. Already I was impressed. But I didn't even know the whole story.
After class I asked my friend about him. Turns out he's 71 years old and had a stroke a year ago. Fortunately, he was in good shape to start with and the doctors gave him the wonder drug tPA within the magical 3 hour window. He was only in the hospital a couple of days, and when my friend went to visit him within a day or two of his release, HE answered the door himself and made tea for the two of them!
He was back to the gym within a few months and now he's doing mainly kickboxing, but also dabbles in weights, boot camp and 24-set classes! Yowza- what a story. So the moral of the story for me was...keep active doing what you love to do. What a champ.
Another lesson learned: If you think someone is having a stroke (or heart attack), time can be critical to survival and recovery. You can read a quick summary of the signs of strokes and heart attacks by clicking here.
9.16.09 EDIT: The lovely man whom inspired this article is named Cliff. He informed me that his recovery was a tad longer than I thought- about 8 days in the hospital. Plus he believes there only to be about 60 people in the class (although it sure FEELS like 120!). He is a retired high-school teacher and I love his attention to detail! ;-)Anyway, he was in class kicking some major booty today. Here is a photo I took of him and my good friend, Ron.
Maintaining a 90+ pound weight loss after a lifetime of weight cycling, I'm blogging to share my journey to find balance with food and exercise in this thin-crazed world. And to make you look at photos of my cats. I hope you'll pick up a tip or two; or just have a laugh. You can email me at LASmoothieGirl at gmail dot com. Thank you for reading! To read my current blog, go to www.smoothiegirleatstoo.wordpress.com
Please note that I am not a Registered Dietitian, Medical Doctor or Personal Trainer. Everything on the blog is solely my opinion, and should be taken as such. For advice on medical issues, training and disordered eating, please contact an appropriate health care professional.