“Heidi, relax. Don't be so tense,” said Quinton, the co-founder and head trainer at Versus.
He's right, I needed to relax. It's okay I'm so unsure of what's going on in yesterday's MMA class. It's only my second lesson! He had to say the same to me again as I was preparing to go into my Jiu-Jitsu class, and I wonder if I really do approach my day nervously.
So, my time at Versus isn't only helping me get into shape. It's helping me become more comfortable about entering unfamiliar territory. It's okay going into something new and being completely clueless! That's just part of learning.
Having said that, yes, I'm still waking up the day after training feel sore. But not all over like I did last week, which I think is an improvement. It's making me realise I really am just lazy...a strange thing to admit on social media for people to read, but I am.
In the past I'd avoided really challenging exercise regimes because I thought I'm “not up for it”. Turns out, my body is up for the challenge, and more.
Another thing I've realised is that the way classes are run at Versus changes depending on the size of the class.
There was only a handful of us at the Muay Thai session on Tuesday, and Mike was leading the class again.
Luckily (for me) there was one other woman in my class; a lovely and petite Filipino girl who's studying hotel management in Hong Kong called Merry, who asked me if I needed help wrapping my hands as we were getting ready for the session. As she carefully wrapped my hands to help prevent against injuries, she told me she hopes to one day work in Switzerland. And later she nearly gave my head a tap with a neat right hook.
On Thursday, for my personal training session, Mike decided to focus more on Muay Thai techniques than fitness exercises. During each round he made sure to correct me whenever I forgot to keep my hands up, or when my hips stopped facing forward and fell back into the Taekwondo stance I'm used to, which is turned to the side.
After, I noticed I wasn't as out of breath as I was the week before. And we'd gone through five three-minute rounds instead of three as we had last week. This must mean my strength and stamina are getting better!
My improvements made me excited about going to my Saturday MMA and Jiu-Jitsu classes today, even though I'd pulled my left hamstring the night before.
“From what? Dancing?” My Jiu-Jitsu instructor from last week, Adam, asked.
“Erm...no,” I replied. “From lunging to keep a box from falling onto my cat while I was on the phone.”
This week we had a slightly bigger MMA class. Quinton quickly saw I was more comfortable with Jamil who was in my MMA class last week, and paired me off with him to practice the guillotine, a choking move that I can try to use to prevent an opponent dumping me on my butt.
With each try, I tried to stop feeling awkward and just go for it. It helped that Quinton was very encouraging and explanatory in his feedback.
An hour later was Jiu-Jitsu time. I lucked out in this session again as I was paired off with a local guy named Bong, who was very patient as we practiced each move. We started with the spider guard, which involves one of us laying on the ground and using our hands and feet to control the mobility of our opponent who's pressing in from above.
In Jiu-Jitsu, we spend a lot of time gripping our opponent's outfit, which is called the gi. The gi is made from a rough material that won't tear easily, and instead, the only tears apparent at the end of the lesson were the small nicks along my knuckles from where the gi rubbing my skin off. That should add an interesting touch to my next manicure...
I have a two-day break before I go back to Versus, and I think I'll take Quinton's advice and “relax, don't be so tense.”