So, today I went and checked out the "Mitts and Gloves" class at the gym at work. I'm kind of looking for a way to scratch my martial arts itch without actually taking up a martial art again. (If the pursuit of physical fitness is not going to eat my life, I have to draw the line somewhere. Right now, I'm drawing it at, "No, I do not need to learn Brazilian jiujitsu.")
I wish I could say I was surprised that I was the only woman in the class. Still, I told myself, it wasn't like the gender ratio was any worse than in Ordinary Differential Equations back in college. The difference being that I can hold my own with any man when it comes to the Runge-Kutta method, but the same can't be said for my roundhouse kick.
Actually, though, it was the warmup that was the most brutal. A good 10 to 15 minutes of jumping jacks, squats, pushups, situps, planks, mountain-climbers, burpees, and a few other things I don't even know the name of, done in rapid-fire intervals. Thanks to my recent strength training efforts, I got through it without disgracing myself. Plus, I now have a bruise on my right knee from screwing up a burpee to match the bruise on my left knee where I clonked myself with a dumbell while doing rows last week. Getting fit is so glamorous.
Warmup complete, we basically went through a set of drills. One partner would hold a shield or mitts, the other would kick or punch. When the timer went off, everybody would drop to the floor and do a burpee (have I mentioned how much I suck at burpees?) and then you'd switch. My partner made some encouraging noises about how fast I caught on - he may have just been being nice.
So, will it scratch my martial arts itch? I dunno - when it comes to martial arts, my first love (and my comparative advantage) is in grappling. On the other hand, it's a great workout and a good complement to my other fitness activities. I'm going to give it a few more classes and see whether I'm still having fun once the novelty has worn off.