“What previous training do you have?”
Lilah almost said “none,” but changed her mind at the last second and said, “Does watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer count?”
Desiree hung her head, which Lilah took to mean no. “What about other physical training?”
“I use the stationary bike at my local YMCA once a week.”
“Any strength training?”
Lilah shook her head.
“OK, here’s what we’re going to do.”
Desiree started with a fitness assessment, in which she measured Lilah’s strength, balance, flexibility, and stamina. Lilah did well on the stamina portion, but everything else just left her embarrassed. She hadn’t realized how weak she was – or that she couldn’t even touch her toes.
After that the real work began, and by the time the hour was up Lilah thought she was going to die. Desiree had her crouch in a squat while she threw a medicine ball to Desiree and caught it when Desiree tossed it back. Then she did a core workout that involved moving her hands on a giant inflated ball while keeping her toes in one place on the floor – that was interesting.
They did lunges. They did curls. They even did bench pressing – Lilah couldn’t lift more than the empty bar, but Desiree assured her it was a good start and they would gradually add weights as Lilah progressed. Lilah wasn’t sure she was as comforted by that thought as Desiree wanted her to be.
“How was your first session?” her husband asked as she limped into the house. “Feeling strong?”
“I’ve never felt so weak in my life.”
He laughed, but Lilah didn’t see the humor in it. “What happened?” he asked when he noticed her grimace. “Did the bag hit back?”
“Oh, we didn’t even get to the bag.”
“What were you doing for the last hour?”
Lilah listed off all the exercises she had been doing. By the time she was done, her husband felt wiped just thinking about all those workouts. “And how is any of that supposed to help you defend yourself if someone attacks you?”
“She said I need to build up my strength in order to be effective at kickboxing.”
“So when do you get to start on the bag?”
“She didn’t say, and honestly, I was afraid to ask.”
“That bad, huh?”
“Want me to get you an ice pack?”
“No. I want you to get me all the ice in the freezer and let me lie in it until all the pain goes away.”
“Why don’t we start with an ice pack? We can move it to different parts of your body as needed.”
To be continued…