I made it! I made it through back to back classes! That small but significant improvement was just the boost I needed!
In open floor Mrs. M took us through the form slowly and showed us exactly what each move was intended to do – what we were blocking and where we were to be punching. It was very enlightening to hear. I was very gratified to know that my side kicks did not require height, only power. I have the power, I just don’t have the balance and the outer thigh strength to get them high. I know that will come with time.
In the actual beginners class we worked on the punches and kicks on the bags. They had one of us in the front of the bag and one of us behind. Since they are free-standing we could both use them and not interfere with the other person. Well, most people could. I was matched up with a little guy who barely came up to my waist. I was so close to the wall that I was literally back against the wall and was using it for leverage when I kicked, which meant that I was really hitting that bag hard. At one point this little blonde head peeked around the bag and enormous blue eyes looked up at me and he said “you are really scaring me”. Poor little guy! Another young man was paired up with me to do side kicks. He was not sure if he was supposed to be very formal and serious or have fun with me. Well, his question was quickly answered as I attempted a side kick, hit a bag, ricocheted off it and tried to create a domino effect with the other bags, all the while laughing at myself. I am very glad that I had my back to the spectators, as I am sure they got a hearty laugh at my very un-graceful antics!
At the end of class I was breathing heavy, my muscles were shaky, my heart rate was high, but I recovered much more quickly than I thought I would, and I still had energy to bathe the kids and cuddle them once we got home. I am making progress!