From Banking to Body Combat

This article was first posted on Here Is the City on 9 July 2013:

I used to work in Banking – at times that was mentally tough. Now I’m exploring something physically tough. At the end of the day it’s all about throwing your weight around and winning the order/deal/fight (delete as applicable)!  Welcome to the jungle!

After two solid days of hardcore Les Mills BodyCombat instructor training, I can assure you that BodyCombat 56 definitely has the capacity to make you cry just a little!
DAY 1 was like a Body Combat marathon interspersed with technique drilling sessions – release 56 becoming the soundtrack to our lives. In emotion terms it went something like this (in no particular order):
(1) Paranoia – That I am the least competent person in the room owing to a total lack of training in either Les Mills courses or martial arts – What am I doing here when I could be at the beach with my family building sandcastles and eating ice cream?
(2) Excitement – Am I really going to be a certified Combat instructor? Whoop whoop!
(3) Self doubt – Not dissimilar to the paranoia and recurring sporadically throughout the day. Am I fit enough? Is my technique ever going to cut it? Why didn’t I opt for Body Attack or Body Pump which are at least in my comfort zone?
(4) Exhilaration – I haven’t had this much fun and felt this alive in so long. Who knew that all it takes is a bit of pain.
(5) Fear – Peaking just before stepping up to teach in front of (read ‘be scrutinised by’) everyone else.
(6) Dead tired – I’m not unaccustomed to a bit of exercise but this is in a whole league of its own. 9am to 6pm with teeny tiny breaks where I didn’t dare eat much knowing that the next cardio session was imminent and any food might make an unwelcome reappearance. At the same time knowing that if I didn’t eat enough I wouldn’t have the fuel to carry on! Oh the dilemma.
By end of the day, everything hurt; highlights being butt (from front/side/roundhouse kicking) and shoulders (from obviously punching). I’d sweated enough to fill a small reservoir and Combat training was seeping from every pore and brain cell. I LOVED IT!
DAY 2 I woke up feeling truly pummeled, creaking like an old lady!
I was nervous about being assessed but frankly the limited mobility in all my joints was more cause for concern. I taped up my dodgy knee more tightly than the day before to stop it from collapsing completely and, joy of joys, I was up first to be assessed! (Positive: no time to ponder and dread or make pointless mental comparisons with other participants. Negative: there’s a reason they send the lowest ranking officer in first
to do a recce.)
Twenty or so Combat tracks later came the cringeworthy task of watching a recording of myself teaching and having all my flaws rammed home. Then we broke for a brief fuel stop plus an opportunity to peel off some sweaty kit and rather pointlessly replace it with another set that would be no doubt saturated within the hour.
To ensure there was no one left who wasn’t crying yet, Steve (our lovely trainer) threw in a Grit Cardio session for good measure (it’s been a while since I’ve been on the receiving end of such compassion). My personal high point was the jump pushups.
And to round it all off when my muscles weren’t just crying but howling I had to teach my second assessment track and participate in another round of about two hours of Body Combat. In actual fact I had so much fun I didn’t want it to end. Steve was inspiring, encouraging and a truly awesome teacher – I’m not just saying that because I passed!
Now I just need to persuade our club to get the licence so I can teach it. As endorsement my 3 year old says I look just like Tree Fu Tom and that is praise indeed!