This is how it’s going to happen. Your heart is going to race and your palms might get a little sweaty as you take that first step in the martial arts gym. You take a deep breath and look ahead, wondering if you’re making the right decision. After all, the door is just there – and it’s open. Right now, it’s a battle of head vs heart. Your head is telling you to not be foolish, and to leave before you get hurt; your heart, on the other hand, is telling you to take a chance, because you never know what you’re missing till you try.
Before you can turn around and change your mind, someone from the front desk approaches you and confirms your trial class. At this point, you know there’s no going back. The hurricane of butterflies continues to swirl around in your stomach, and you walk to the training area, gloves in hand. This is it, you think to yourself. You take another deep breath take in the view: a row of heavy bags, a bunch of teenagers, and some older adults surround the mats.
“Muay Thai? First time?” A smiley instructor approaches you as you get in line with the rest of the class to prepare for the warm-ups. You nod silently and attempt to smile back. Your heart is beating so quickly that you think it’s going to pop out of your chest. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen because you’ve started stretching and jogging around the perimeter of the gym.
About 15 minutes into your class, you’re already perspiring and feeling the need to take a break. You wonder how everyone makes skipping look so easy when it certainly feels like the opposite. You pause for 3 seconds, when you accidentally step on the rope and lose your momentum. Eminem’s Lose Yourself comes on over the speakers, and you feel like a badass as you skip to the beat. Before you know it, it’s time to pass the skipping rope to the instructor and get ready for the main part of class.
You can’t help but feel self conscious as you attempt to throw your first jab, cross, hook and roundhouse kick. You look at yourself in the mirror and notice that you’re totally off. The guy next to you, though, looks like he has the techniques nailed down. Someday, you think to yourself. Someday you’re going to figure out those techniques as well.
By the time you move on to the pads – thankfully, with that smiley instructor from the start of class, you’ve learned to not care about how you look but instead, do your best to press on and make it through this lesson. You’re super exhausted but somehow, you find the strength to keep going. After all, you’re fascinated with the moves that you’re learning, and it has been awhile since you last tried something for the first time. So you want to make it count.
Before you know it, the lesson is over and you’re shaking hands with everyone. You’ve officially survived – and crushed – your very first Muay Thai class. And despite being out of breath a few times, it feels amazing. You can’t help but smile to yourself as you make your way back to the front of the gym. You can’t believe that just over an hour ago, you stood at this same spot and almost bailed on that first class. You’re now glad that you didn’t. In fact, you’re actually planning to head back for another class tomorrow.
As you make your way home, you can’t stop thinking about that class and everything you’ve learned. Sure, you were on some kind of an emotional rollercoaster, but damn, it certainly feels good. And you know that you made the right choice by taking that first step and embarking on this awesome martial arts adventure.
Spoiler alert: You’re going to try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the following week/month, and fall in love with it as well.