From Banking to BodyCombat

Les Mills BodyCombat

I used to work in banking, which at times was mentally tough. Now I'm exploring something physically tough. But at the end of the day, it's still all about throwing your weight around and winning the order / deal / fight (delete as applicable).

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 BodyCombat marathon interspersed with technique drilling sessions - release 56 becoming the soundtrack to our lives.

In emotional 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 BodyAttack or BodyPump 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 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, especially my 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 cringe-worthy task of watching a recording of myself teaching and having all my flaws rammed home. Then we broke for a brief fuel stop with 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, our trainer Steve 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.

Then, 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 two-hour round of BodyCombat. In actual fact, I had so much fun I didn't want it to end. Steve was inspiring, encouraging and a truly awesome teacher (and 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 three-year-old says I look just like Tree Fu Tom, and that is praise indeed!