This week I stepped out of my comfort zone a little and attended a Muay Thai class at Gym Nation, West End with our Magazine Designer Keisha and Online Magazine guru Alana.

Now, just to explain the extent of my ‘stepping out of said comfort zone’, I am absolutely and only a Pilates and Yoga kinda gal … I don’t run, I don’t do gyms and I don’t do martial arts classes. I don’t really like to sweat, you know?

And what on earth was Muay Thai anyway? I had a brief look on the Gym Nation website at the blurb about their Muay Thai classes – I saw the words ‘intense’ and ‘cardio’ and thought it best to stop reading … I thought it may be better I stay off Google (and YouTube) and just be surprised …

So I was off to a Muay Thai class. I actually referred to it as a Mai Tai (yes, the cocktail) to anyone that would listen for about a week prior. So really, I had no idea what the class was about or what it would involve me doing and I really thought it best (for my apprehension levels) that I.know.nothing.

Despite my boyfriend’s kind offer of boxing practice (and his gloves, which are just a TINY bit big on me), I decided to be super brave and go into the class as the honest novice I was. I have butterflies when I arrive at Gym Nation but these go away a little when I see what the gym looks like – this is not like the gyms I’ve seen before. In fact, it looks nothing like a conventional gym at all; in a good way. It’s a warehouse gym, roller door and all and it’s pretty damn cool.

I go in and meet George, the owner, and then trainers Alex and Marty. Marty will be our trainer for Muay Thai and I silently pray he is as nice to me in the class as he seems outside of it! We start with skipping, for two minutes. It’s at this point that I start to freak out. Suddenly two minutes of skipping seems like a lot longer than two minutes and I get a glimpse into just how hard this might be.

But Marty is great and he eases us ‘beginners’ into the sequences of boxing/defence. We’re kicking and hooking, and jabbing and slipping and soon it’s time to partner up and test our newly learnt techniques. At some point, in between punching into Keisha’s mitts and having her punch mine, I realise I am having fun. Like, a LOT of fun. Then, we move to kicking and this is even more fun.

Marty is encouraging yet tough on us the entire time. At one point he tells me ‘no; kick her like you don’t like her’. I kick Keisha as hard as I can (sorry K). This earns me a pat on my head from Marty and I’m quietly a little chuffed about it, really. At one point Alana says, ‘it’s so funny to see Allie doing something violent!’ I laugh because it feels funny too. But oddly it’s good and I like it!

The class is tough, but it feels really, really good and at the end of it – I feel totally exhilarated. Keisha, Alana and I vow to be back and I urge you fellow 4101ers to try a class! Or just stop in and check out what the guys have going on at Gym Nation.

And who knows, maybe Muay Thai will be the best thing you’ve done in a while (and you might just feel you’ve earned yourself a Mai Tai proper at its conclusion).



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