Truth be told, I've never punched anything or anyone in my life. On a sticky summer morning, I arrived at 9Round in Mukwonago ready to take a swing at kickboxing.
I was told my first workout would be scaled back, which I was relieved to hear. I'm not proud of the fact that I haven't had a decent workout in awhile.
My first round involved jumping rope, which I haven't done since I was a kid. I recited the words to "Miss Mary Mack" to myself as I tripped over the rope. An interval timer buzzed after three minutes when it was time to start the next round.
As I twisted my body while holding a kettleball, I noticed a picture of boxing legend Muhammad Ali on the wall. Something about seeing his picture made me move faster. Co-owner Lori Videkovich was nearby, shouting encouragement.
Let's get ready to rumble
Co-Owners Lori and Rodger Videkovich decided to open a 9Round after becoming members at a location in New Berlin. It became official with the June 24 ribbon-cutting at 545 Bay View Rd. Suite D.
After working as an auto service technician for 26 years, Rodger decided to try something new, although he pointed out he has been active in sports.
Lori explained that they loved the concept of 9Round. Members get an intense full kickboxing-themed fitness workout in 30 minutes.
There is no structured class time; there is an opportunity for people to drop in when they please. The full body workout is changed daily to keep people engaged.
"We liked it so much we decided to open up our own here in Mukwonago," Rodger said.
Lori added there is a trainer at the facility who gives encouragement and helps people meet their fitness goals. Lori and Rodger meet with members to find out what their fitness goals are. If a person has an injury or other circumstances, the workout is modified to fit their needs.
"We customize on the fly what they are going to do, and still get a good workout," Rodger said.
Something for everyone
When I went for a free session, a number of women were already there working out. Rodger said that although 70 percent of their clients are women; a shift happens as women start to bring along a significant other. Lori said that, at first, men assume a 30-minute workout is easy but by the end, they are sweating.
Kicking the punching bag was a great stress release. Doing my first roundhouse kicks and punches felt great. I might have had some people in mind as I swiftly swung my leg. Lori could see I was struggling with punching and gave me some tips.
Always have the gloves up toward your face to avoid being knocked out by the punching bag.
I was a bit self-conscious about my weak punches, especially when there was an older man giving the bag a good beatdown.
Turns out this workout isn't just for the young, but also for people into their 70s and beyond.
Age and body shape aren't factors. Everyone's mission is to get their workout in.
"The hardest thing for some is to walk through the door," Lori said.
Financial Planner Tom Deppe, a member at 9Round, was toweling off the sweat. He noted that Lori and Rodger stress accountability and keep him on task. Deppe happily reported he has lost 6 pounds already and has much more energy.
After my 30 minutes, I was given a high-five from Lori. Sweat dripped from my flushed face, and Lori stopped me as I started to leave.
"You have to ring the bell; you finished a great workout," she said.
I'll admit, it felt great to accomplish my first ever kickboxing workout — although my feet and arms were sore a day later.
To schedule a free workout and see what 9Round Mukwonago is all about visit www.9round.com/fitness/Mukwonago-WI-x9242.