How I got hooked on kickboxing

by singlemomseeking on July 25, 2008

About six months ago, the same vivacious single mom friend I mentioned yesterday told me, “Let’s take a kickboxing class.”

I thought she was joking.

She knew that I was the kind of woman who does yoga. Or goes on walks through the woods. I’d never really worked out before. And I’d certainly never joined a sweaty group of aerobic kickboxers, who jabbed in front of a mirror.

But she worked on me until I finally agreed to work out. Our girls could go to childcare together (free with our memberships!), and while we kickboxed, they would swim.

I told her that I’d give it a try. Once.

Those first two weeks, I could barely keep up. I was so sore when I got out of bed. But now I’m hooked. I’ve been kickboxing three nights a week since then.

I have a whole new vocabulary now: upper cuts, jabs, kicks. I sweat. What I do is probably closer to “Turbo Kick” or “Cardio Kickboxing” It’s a mix of aerobics with martial arts with hip-hop. I don’t wear gloves.

I don’t have headaches anymore, either. That pain in my neck — from working at the computer — is gone. And I’m a calmer parent (while I’m not sure if M would agree, but I’ve noticed.) Oh, and did I mention how fun it is?

Do you exercise? What do you do to keep your heart rate up?

C’mon now, Crazy Computer Dad, are you going to be first in line here? Pour it on– Or how about you Kevin of 5Ks and Cabernets? (I’ve secretly named you Mr. Marathon.)

As a single parent, taking care of yourself is crucial: not only for your health, but for your sanity. Even if it’s a walk around the block after dinner with your kids, we all need to move.

I want to hear from at least 30 of you today. Exercise? Let’s hear it.

Oh, before you tell me that kickboxing is a great place to meet men, let me say: the few guys who’ve come to the class… have left dripping in sweat, and have not come back! What’s up with that?

P.S. If you’re not exercising regularly, let us know one little cardio activity you plan to do in the next week.


Tori Spelling is a kickboxer. Photo from PRPhotos.com

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

T July 25, 2008 at 9:01 am

You GO girl! It does feel good to let out some aggression somewhere. You should be proud to find something that resonates with you so well. And makes you feel good too!

Personally, I’m a long-time yogi but have picked up cycling this year. I’m also planning on a duathlon (with running and cycling) and eventually plan on doing a triathlon too!

A healthy mom is a happy mom!! :)

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mommaliss July 25, 2008 at 9:20 am

I started hiking on days my kids are with their dad to a waterfall on a mountain near my home. I started about 4 months ago now I’m exploring new trails and having a blast. I have always been the ultimate girly girl but I’m finding there’s nothing more amazing than sticking your feet in a stream that you hiked your way into!

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laurakim123 July 25, 2008 at 9:22 am

I gym about 3 times a week – mainly cardio! I do pilates on a sat morning and try get to yoga on a sun morning!!

I have been doing it for about a year now and LOVE it!!!! I havent been in a while since I have been sick but cant wait to get back tomorrow!!!!

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Andie July 25, 2008 at 9:26 am

where do you do the kickboxing? Maybe I should take it up. I”d like to start exercising. So far? I do nothing. Sometimes I confront my ex. That gets my heart racing.

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judy July 25, 2008 at 9:38 am

I am a YMCA chick, at least for the last year since I quit smoking. I treadmill 3 miles, have a 45 minute “weight lifitng” routine and take a core strengthening class with my DD. The entire routine takes me 2 hours. I try to do it in full 3 times a week but it doesn’t always work out that way.

actually as for getting my heart racing…that usually happens when I see that adorable unnamed man…you know who he is

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America July 25, 2008 at 9:39 am

I’m kinda a movement junkie… I do cardio at the gym 3x a week, pilates 2x, yoga 1 or 2x, I teach my own fitness for dancers class 1x a week, a regular tango class 2x a week, and then I dance tango whenever I DJ 1 or 2x per week…

oh and then there is the hooping and the hiking… I’m not very good at sitting still ;-)

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kevin July 25, 2008 at 9:40 am

I run about 30 to 35 miles a week when I’m not training for a marathon and 40 to 50 miles a week when I am training for a marathon. I’ve run two marathons, three half marathons, and one 25k race (15.5 miles), not too mention tons of 5ks and 10ks….Usually my heart rate jacks up to 90 percent maximum (180 for me) at the end of races, and at times I’ve seen it hit 200. Hope that wasnt too much info!

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Avigail74 July 25, 2008 at 9:54 am

Whew—this has been one of the biggest challenges as a parent—pre-mamahood is when I used to run 3-4 times a week for one hour with yoga thrown into the loop.

Post-baby and post-divorce—now my legs aren’t as strong as they used to be–I hike up very tough hills in Boulder and that gets the sweat pouring! I also LOVE kickboxing (too expensive and doesn’t provide childcare). Hard workouts make me feel so strong and that I can accomplish anything!

Good for you Rachel! I’m proud of you!

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jenn3 July 25, 2008 at 10:01 am

It’s so hard for me to find the time with a toddler (and no one to watch her). I let my gym membership expire because I felt guilty taking her to the daycare at the gym after being in daycare for 9 hours. I usually try to do some videos at home (early in the morning or after she’s in bed). I’ve been enjoying the Jillian Michaels workout videos recently. I also have an elliptical at home. I know I work harder in a class setting, but it isn’t possible right now.

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Angie July 25, 2008 at 10:30 am

I love to work out, when I can find the time! I’m a fan of rock climbing (indoors) and am a member of a great gym. It’s a family activity, my son can beat me up the wall every time!

I also love to run and do the Turbo Jam videos – when I have the time. Which is rare!

Good job with the kick boxing! Get those endorphins revved up!!

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singleparentdad July 25, 2008 at 10:41 am

Most of my exercise these days seem to come from giving my 3 yr old “horsey” or shoulder rides, or chasing him around the house or the yard playing catch.

But when I do find time for actual exercise, I use the Total Gym (the one you Chuck Norris advertising on infomercials). It’s relatively inexpensive, folds into a corner of the room, and offers a decent variety of exercise routines.

For those not necessarily into super high energy activities like kickboxing, you may want to look into Wing Chun Kung Fu. It’s a style of KF used by Bruce Lee but was originally invented by a Chinese woman.

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The Exception July 25, 2008 at 11:04 am

I am out there walking and walking and walking! Most of the time my daughter walks with me, but not all the time. We do the Presidents Active Lifestyle program together and walked over 150 miles in April and May for her school.

There is nothing like exercise to clear the mind and refresh the soul – not to mention keep those legs looking great!

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Phil July 25, 2008 at 12:22 pm

New reader, and I really like your blog so far! I’m a single Dad with 2 teenagers who live with me full-time. I’ve taken up marathon running and it has changed my life. It’s hard to explain, but it breaks you down and then rebuilds you into something stronger and better – and I don’t mean physically. (Before I started running when I was 35, I was an out-of-shape asthmatic who hated sports!) This weekend I get to taper and rest getting ready for the San Francisco Marathon on August 3rd.

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Legal Editor Mom July 25, 2008 at 12:36 pm

I used to go to a kickboxing class that I just loved! I’d come out of there ringing out my t-shirt but it literally worked every muscle in my body and despite the pain early on, I was hooked.

I have a lifetime membership to Bally’s (yes, lifetime.) But I hadn’t used it since my daughter was born. I just couldn’t find the time to get there, especially since becoming a single parent. So to exercise, we started doing pilates and yoga together at home via DVDs in our family room and recently I got an exercise ball as a present and we do that, too, via DVD.

But now that she’s 4, I feel better about taking her with me and I’ve reupped the Bally’s membership (just this week!) She goes in the playroom while I get a workout in. It’s still going to be challenging fitting it in with my full-time job, freelance work, and going to see/care for my dad, but I’m committed.

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singlemomseeking July 25, 2008 at 12:56 pm

You mamas blow me away! Wow, you’re somethin’ else.

I knew about the single dad bloggers’ exercising because they write about it. (Is writing about softball and running easier than writing about your feelings?).

I feel like I have a whole new perspective on the moms here. You inspire me!!

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Vinnie Sorce July 25, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Good for you, I get tired just walking down the driveway to the mail box…

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Amanda Castaneda July 25, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I have always done a lot of yoga and have fit in cycling or walking whenever I can because they are all things that I can do with my daughters. I also still do ballet and for awhile my daughter and I were in the same class before she advanced right past me.

Just last weekend though I tried Bikram Yoga which was incredible I have never sweated like that before! I am going back this week!!!

Glad to see there is so many healthy parents out there. I really notice the difference in my body and just how I feel in general when I am not active.

Keep it up everyone!!!!

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Crazy Computer Dad July 25, 2008 at 3:12 pm

:-) I would have answered sooner, but I was swimming the Bering Strait.

Yeah, not really.

I do the Body for Life program (or try to for the most part). I’ve been doing it for a few years now, loosely. I love it. http://www.bfl.com or bodyforlife.com.

I also play any sport that will have me. This summer it’s been kickball, volleyball, dodgeball, softball, and soccer. I get out to surf, swim, kayak, hike, camp, scuba, snowboard, bike….anything. I’ve done martial arts in the past and that is always a blast too.

I FEEL great when I’m playing sports and spending time with my friends (I play coed sports by the way). I have a FEELING of accomplishment at the end of every game or activity. Life just wouldn’t FEEL the same without it. I FEEL elated when I can push beyond what I think I can do. I FEEL the release of endorphins at the end of a work out. I FEEL the need for beer right now, um, after I fulfill the FEELING of the grass getting mowed and the FEELING that I need an upper body workout. I FEEL I need to get moving because I FEEL like I went a little too far with my FEELINGS. :-) Tee hee hee right???

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Karsi July 25, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I work out 4x a week. 45 minutes on cardio and then weights. Tonight I felt the need for happy hour with my co-workers. Now I feel the need to doze!

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Tara Marie July 25, 2008 at 8:32 pm

I started running…..have lost 63lbs, with 40 more to go.

I started training for the Philadelphia half marathon [which is in September] this past May. I kinda lost myself for a while there, too busy taking care of everyone but myself. Now I put myself first and am out by 6 a.m. running.

Kickboxing sounds like a fun workout.

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mommypie July 26, 2008 at 1:58 am

Good for you! Kick boxing would kick my ass — I’d be a puddle in about 2 minutes.

Myself, I try to get to the gym 3x a week, alternating the treadmill with weights. It’s always a HUGE rush, having only 50 minutes after work before my daughter’s preschool closes, but it’s gotta be done.

And on nights I don’t work out, I put my daughter in the trailer after dinner and we go mountain biking down dusty dirt roads. Which I love WAY more than being in a gym.

I have to admit I’m much more of a ‘walk in the woods’ kind of gal too. And if I had my way, my only exercise would be standing in the middle of a river every night, casting a fly.

But that doesn’t do much for my butt.

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Andrea July 26, 2008 at 6:12 am

I have an elliptical at home that I use when Frances is with me after she goes to bed, and when she’s with her Dad and the weather is nice I run outside. I aim to do that five or six days a week. I also walk or ride my bike to work whenever I can to get a little extra in. I used to do weights too two days/week, but that’s taken a real hit since The Boyfriend. Still trying to figure out how I will work that back in.

I have a few exercise videos that I do when teh elliptical gets boring, but that doesn’t happen often.

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workout mommy July 26, 2008 at 7:11 am

I teach a boot camp class and you are so right—the men show up once and never come back! They cannot stand being schooled by all the strong women!

and as a former single mom, I know just how hard it is to maintain fitness when going it alone—but even the smallest efforts add up.

keep on kicking! :)

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Lori July 26, 2008 at 7:57 am

Way to go!! Kickboxing can kick your butt in the begininng, but it is always an awesome workout.
I used to be in amazing shape. I was in the Marine Corps so it came with the job. :)
I’ve recently picked up running again. Training for a 5K in February. My first one!! It’s hard as a single parent to find the time, but I’ve noticed the kids getting into it too. We take turns holding each other’s legs while we do sit-ups. It’ SO nice to get the kids to realize how good exercising is for you!

Keep up the great work!!!

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MizFit July 26, 2008 at 9:01 am

today? danced with my Toddler to Yo Gabba Gabba

sad? yes

true? fo’ shizzle

heart rate elevating? DAMN SKIPPY :)

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Mom2Maddie99 July 26, 2008 at 11:55 am

I have a Curves membership…which I don’t get to use in the summer because I do not have child care…but I hope to get back in August when I return back to work and my daughter goes back to school.

I really should consider joining a regular gym…with men…so maybe I won’t be single forever.

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Buterflymom July 26, 2008 at 4:18 pm

That one is easy. I just did my first 35-mile bike ride with friends, very tough hills…..went camping, kayaking and hiking last week. at home i go to the gym at least 6 days a week for spin, yoga, and weights.

i’m a much better parent because of it!! gotta get it all out and feel better.

keep on kickboxing!!

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Vivacious single mom July 26, 2008 at 5:07 pm

OK!! I couldn’t help to write something about our workout every week. YES!! i’m the same “vivacious single mom friend” that Rachel mentioned yesterday! She didn’t mentioned that on thursday we tried for the first time “spinning”… and it’s so much fun!.. Working out not only help us be beter parents (less stressed out and a lot more calmer..) but we are the reloe models of our kids… if they see us taking care of ourselves… they will definetely do that later! it will be part of their life and routine!… I love it , it really makes me feel stronger…and sexier too! Rachel (my great friend!) – thank you for joining me in this fun adventure – perhaps next time we can also try – hip hop!!!

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Susan July 27, 2008 at 10:09 am

Lately all I’ve been able to do is exercise my mind!

I like yoga, walking and swimming, plus body sculpt type of classes, but I’ve been having a very, very difficult time lately fitting in any sort of consistent exercise routine.

Good for you with trying something new and empowering in more ways than one!

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Des July 31, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I’ll be #30! :) You reached your comments goal.

I joined a v-ball team this summer. At least I get 1 hour of exercise a week.

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