I kicked my butt by kicking a cushion by Trina Jacobson
For me, off-season is a time for me to work on some deficits in my cycling, improve upon what I accomplished in the past season, and spend time with my family. I also take the opportunity to try or do things I wouldn’t consider during the season for fear of injury or, let’s be honest, just fear.
I came across a special at the MMA Academy in San Diego and it happened to be in the same parking lot as my office, so I purchased it with the intention of going to the general fitness class for cross training. Once I visited the studio, I decided to try a level 1 krav maga class. Krav maga is a system of defensive tactics used by the Israel Defense Forces and taught to law enforcement agencies across the US. I’ve never taken any kind of martial art or self-defense, so I didn’t know what to expect.
After getting a quick lesson on wrapping my hands and wrists for protection (protection against what, exactly?!), I was warming up with the small class. OK, so far, so good. I can jog around a room. Then the class began and when it came time to throw my first punch at a cushion, I giggled. Seriously, I giggled in a self-defense class. I got nervous and I felt awkward, especially throwing a punch with my left. Good grief….! So, I did what I do when something at home or on the bike is nerving, I bring my focus in and tell Princess Trina to take a nap because Badass Trina needs to get some work done.
By the end of the class I was sweaty from punching, kicking, and rolling around on the floor and I liked it. It was a little primal. The next day I was sore in new places and had bruised knuckles.
Not everything I do needs to have a direct application to my cycling, but while I was kicking the cushion my partner was holding I realized I was making explosive movements much like a jump to make a break or to initiate my sprint. I also noticed that it takes a lot of focus and quick reflexes, which comes in handy when flying around on two skinny tires with a pack of other cyclist.
If there aren’t any other physiological carry-overs to cycling, I’m ok with that, because at the very least, I have a better understanding of how my body moves and works and it’s not as awkward as I thought.
Trina is a mom, has too many v-neck t-shirts, and is an associate cycling coach for Crank Cycling in San Diego, CA.