Things I’ve Learned While Battling It Out Against Anxiety and Depression at CKO Kickboxing

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Even Batgirl has learned a lot this time around. \ Image: Dakster Sullivan
Even Batgirl has learned a lot this time around. \ Image: Dakster Sullivan

As I’ve been going to CKO Orlando to battle it out against anxiety and depression these past few weeks, I’ve learned how to do uppercuts, jabs, crosses, and hooks. I’ve improved my roundhouse kicks and toned up my arms with a few weights. I’ve also learned a few things that don’t involve a heavy bag. Here are a few of the more important ones.

Don’t compete with others.

When you are competing with others instead of yourself you set yourself up for failure. There’s this one girl at the gym that kicks serious ass. She’s a great partner when you can team up with her too. One day I finally realized that by comparing my progress to her awesomeness I was downplaying my own achievements for actually making it to class and making my own strides. A month ago I was barely making a lap around the gym and now I’m able to do five laps without breaking a sweat. So now, I admire the awesomeness of my fellow gym-goers but I compete with who I was the day before and not who is punching next to me.

Don’t push yourself harder than you can physically go.

There’s a fine line between pushing yourself for fitness and pushing yourself into the physical therapist’s office. The trick is finding that line and not crossing it. Once you injure yourself the fun is over. My left shoulder will attest to this one. ::excuse me as I go ice it for the 50th time this week::

Don’t let your mind trick you out of going.

Once my subconscious started to realize I was going to the gym, it started trying to come up with reasons why I shouldn’t. My foot would hurt one day. I’d have a headache another. I started keeping my gym bag packed and in my car and at the end of my work day I would do a body scan. It goes like this. “Do my legs hurt?” ” Does my stomach hurt?” “Do my arms hurt?” “Does my head, neck, or shoulders hurt?” If the answer to these questions is an honest no, Hi Ho, Hi, Ho, it’s off to the gym I go. It doesn’t matter if I went the day before.

The gym isn’t just for working on your muscles.

It’s also a great place to work on your social skills. I can’t say I’ve made a lot of friends, but I’ve made a lot of buddies. Everyone at CKO that I’ve met so far is friendly and encouraging to each other. We chill out for the first few minutes and stretch it out and talk about our work days or give tips on good parking options. I think I’ve worked on my social muscles as much as I’ve worked on my calf muscles these past five weeks.

What works for some doesn’t work for everyone.

It took me over a month to realize that just because some people at my gym swear by protein shakes doesn’t mean I have to buy them. I finally went to a nutritionist to figure out what I should be eating and drinking before and after my workouts to get the most benefit. You know what she said? She looked over my food log, said I was eating a balanced diet already and if anything to cut out my sweet green tea and substitute unsweet green tea.

On top of that, my smoothie that everyone said was horrible for me because it had milk in it, she said was fine and if it didn’t bother me to drink it before my workout, more power to me. She said for what I was trying to achieve, I didn’t need to buy into all that protein shake hype and what I was doing was just fine for me.

Five lessons in five weeks is not a bad number. I’m sure as I continue to go I’ll continue to learn. And learning is half the battle!

For more about my journey into kicking into kickboxing and battling anxiety one punch at a time, check out my series about CKO Orlando here on GeekMom.

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