Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pete Peterson and the night we boxed to Adele.

Dear 28,
On Monday Jenni and I trained with UFC fighters.Seriously.
I'm not much of a fighter. I do like to argue, but I can't say I've thought much about hitting something or someone when I'm angry. (I'm not even that great at being angry... I'd say I'm better a crying or whining. Or singing angry fighter songs.) After a couple weeks of pent up frustration though, boxing it out sounded oddly appealing. Jenni googled "boxing class Des Moines" (a far less complicated sentence than I would have used) and landed on RoundKick Gym. In his email, Pete Peterson told us we get a free trial class, to wear shorts/tshirts and that the class was barefoot. That's pretty much all we knew before tonight- other than the address of the Urbandale Gym (we actually had to print out directions to get there.)

We walked in after a short sit-in-the-car-and-give-each-other-a-pep talk moment to find a real gym filled with vein-popping-muscly dudes. The floor was covered in blue mats, a boxing ring sat in the back and it smelled like a middle school gym. Had we done our research and actually poked around on the RoundKick Gym website, we would have learned that fighters (like real MMA and UFC ones) often train in Muay Thai Boxing, that Pete Peterson is a serious badass and that "Thai training methods develop devastating power, speed and superior cardiovascular endurance."

Pete greeted us asking "did you girls bring clothes?" and then pointed us to the women's "locker room" where we broke down into a fit of giggles. Only two other ladies were in the room when we arrived, one an obvious fighter with her hand wraps and toned arms, the other a high school girl who sat in the corner hiding behind her bangs until class started (when class did start, the fighter woman thaiboxed with a man who will be in a fight in April, keeping up with his kicks and shuffles and the other girl boxed with cheetah print gloves). At promptly 7:15pm we bowed with the group of nearly 25 (mumbled "Sawadee" with the pleasant muscle man next to us- a sign of respect and a traditional Thai greeting- although I believe we used the masculine version of the word instead of the lady one) and jump-roped using these fake jump-ropey cord things for three whole minutes, and then, well then we punched each other. 

We were clearly the least trained thaiboxers in the room-- certainly not a class for beginners-- but Pete kindly gave us several combos to try out, including a few that included kicks. We slipped our hands into seriously sweaty gloves and pads-that-you-punch and began to jab and hook and bob and weave. Around us dudes were doing foot grabs, spinning elbow jabs and sweating, a lot. Pete demonstrated how much more a kick using your shin hurts than a kick with a foot (I have the bruises to prove it) nearly knocking me into the man dummy (an actual plastic man thing). Near the end of the class we'd finally mastered the punching sequence and even Pete said "if I had three hands I'd give you three thumbs up" in reference to our kicking form. 
I'm pretty sure I have some battle wounds (Pete said dudes think that is cool) and Jenni and I certainly experienced something we'd never have seen before. It might be the most badass I've ever felt- must be the gloves. Sawadee.
xo- LP

Monday, March 26, 2012

In like a lion.

Dear 28,
That last week in February it snowed big heavy flakes. You know the ones that coat the trees in thick sheets of white. Many early to bed evenings buried in blankets, falling asleep during Boardwalk Empire and a whole lot of leggings. (Don't judge. Leggings are amazing. Maybe they aren't "pants" exactly, but leggings, leggings are the best) It seemed I was driving a lot in the mornings when the plows had yet to clear the streets (Bill Stowe I don't blame you for waiting until 730 to clear the way, it's still and quiet and a pretty kind of chilly in the early hours). That cozy winter cocoon didn't stick around long though.
Thus far March has been much like the eve of Spring should always be: volatile. The grass appears to get greener by the hour, the skies are flooded with sunlight and suddenly dyed gray with rain clouds, and each of us gets a little anxious. They say March always clamors in like a lion.
Those first couple bits of the month slipped calmly past while I was studying basketball teams in an effort to compose an infallible bracket and eagerly learning horse race betting jargon, realizing I'm very unlucky in the casino, but felt like one charmed lady outside the walls of Prairie Meadows.
But then, preoccupied by decadent views and simply addictive consumption of The Hunger Games series, early March became mid-March, outta nowhere. That week I soaked up salty breaths of ocean air and cozied up to the bar (and the scallops) at my favorite spot in San Diego, daydreaming of (finally) dragging travel companions to the coast. My apologies to the many of you who were begged to accompany me on my next venture west that night-- as a Pearl Preferred Member I got two bobbers this time. (and 2 bobbers means 2 bourbons) But to be clear, you are definitely still invited.
As they say, beware the ides of March. (I'm all about what they say. They know everything.)  I journeyed to the east coast of Iowa for a few days, hosted a festive Irish brunch and wore a summer sun dress in month three of 2012. I watched hours of the Kentucky Derby of Basketball, sampled mint infused bourbon, laughed until it hurt at some fun answers to a great question game and nursed an over-analyzing-brain-pain. And that was just four days. On the mend following those fateful Ides, I'm craving an outlet. I want to run, draw and write all at the same time just to feel that flood of emotion turn from awkwardness to something neat and clearly defined- so it'll be done (see- I'm blogging now.) With less than two months left (GASP) in my 28th year, I've got a lot of work to do
They say March is in like a lion and then out like a lamb. Here's to a gentle end to one wicked month.