by Vicky Gunawan – Horizon News and Features Editor
Alisa Murray lunges forward. She thrust her right fist vigorously. Drops of sweat run down her face as she slices the air with an upper-cut blow. No, this is not a scene from a commercial fitness video. It is not a martial arts skit. It is more intense than Zumba. This is a cardio kickboxing session at Hesston Wellness Center.
The session starts on a lovely Wednesday afternoon. Fifteen women from Hesston College, including Murray, go into the basement of the Wellness Center. Their afternoon has just begun.
The room is spacious: it had a kitchen, four pool tables, and different sets of weights, couches, TVs, and even a piano. No one is around, yet. The women then grab their preference weights, stretch, and do some talking. It would have been too quiet otherwise.
Shortly, a woman walks in holding a CD player and a sheet of paper in both hands. As soon as everyone finishes signing in, Schadler starts to play a CD.
“The music is ‘technoish’ and pumping-up,” says Murray. “It is energizing and gets our heart rate up.”
“The music keeps us up to pace,” adds Jill Schlabach, one of the resident directors.
Schadler patiently shows them the movements that they are about to do. Once the music gets to the right measure, she starts to speed their pace up.
Suddenly the room feels small as everyone spreads out to create their own space.
After a few sets of upper-cuts, blows, high kicks, and other defensive moves, they take a brief water break to keep going for two more rounds. Everyone is talking among themselves, nearly tired but still enjoying it. They just love learning their new self-defense moves for the day.
“This is just an intense and fun cardio,” Schlabach says.
The second round is only a more intense version of the first one. The third round weights are added to burn the women more calories. The music still blaring, the women try to repetitively lift their weights higher than their shoulder lengths.
After half an hour of full workout, Schadler concluded the afternoon.
“Doesn’t the world feel like a better place after this?” Schadler asks.