Eye of the Tiger, the classic number 1 hit from American rock band Survivor. Best known as the theme song to cult movie Rocky III. I must admit I have this track on my 'Running Tunes' list and I always have a little giggle to myself as I run along the foreshore where I live, pretending I am indeed, Rocky Balboa. 🐯
But what prompted me to write this blog is not running, or indeed the film, but my sheer love of a sport I took up earlier this year, namely kickboxing. 🥊
Back in March, something terrible happened in my community. A young woman, Natasha, was attacked by a man whilst she was out for her run, at 10.30am in the morning. What the attacker didn't know was that Natasha was a champion kickboxer, and she managed to kick him to the ground and run to safety.
When I heard the news about this it really struck a chord. The fact that this happened in broad daylight in my neighbourhood. Even more chilling was where the incident happened was exactly where I run, except I tend to run early mornings, around about 7am. What if that had happened to me? Would I have been able to defend myself? It was hideous to even think about. 😕
But in a marvellous turn of events, something good has come out of this. Kevin, the husband of the Natasha, runs Wolfpack Martial Arts in Edinburgh. He set up free self defence classes for women, held outside in the local carpark for three consecutive Saturday mornings where we were taught some basic self defence techniques. I loved the class and was interested in learning more.
A few weeks later I attended my first ever proper Self Defence/Kickboxing class. OMG I absolutely love it. I truly now understand just how fit boxers are, they are true athletes. Kevin started teaching us self defence, but also that it's equally important to be fit enough to run away after you've delivered that first punch or kick. 🏃♀️
The training in the gym is insane. Our sessions include cardio, lunges, crunches, star jumps and squats, mixed with running up and down the length of the gym with the music pumping! But the highlight for me, is always when Kev shouts out to get our gloves on. The pads come out and we practice our punches. Nothing for me beats the physical fulfilment and emotional catharsis of giving something a good whack! 🥊 🥊
So as a woman why do I love it so much?
- It's a sport that tones and sculpts your muscles
- You burn calories and fat from all over your body
- It improves your overall cardiovascular fitness
- You become stronger, both physically and mentally
- It helps get rid of stress
- It increases your confidence
- It improves your posture
Boxing is functional fitness. Yes, you look aesthetically good, but you also become strong for everyday activities. It's changed my life in a good way.
Trust me, there has never been a better time to fight like a girl. 🙌