Well, tomorrow night for me. I’m writing this Sunday night, since I anticipate being rather busy Monday morning. But you get the idea. I’m spending the rest of the night cleaning, cooking, and prepping food for tomorrow, and deciding what to pack. I’m not going to have time to come home before heading out to class, so I’m bringing all the loaner gear I can with me to work. Plus food, plus all the paperwork and stuff I’ll need. Going to be a fun morning. I expect I’m not going to be able to squeeze in a blog post…so let’s all just pretend that it’s Monday morning and I’ve just woken up.

So first class tonight. I am excited, a little tense, and a little nervous. I’m tense because I haven’t heard back from the site owner about a number of questions, but I’m happy going forward in good faith. I just get a little anal ahead of time about making sure I’m dotting all my t’s and suchlike. It comes from a lifetime habit of procrastination and last-minute scrambling. It’s like my magic power, or something.

I’m a little nervous because I made the decision back in the SCG days that I would never again be the kind of teacher who stood and yelled at people to do things, without doing them himself. In this case, it means I’m anticipating a challenging and uncomfortable workout. I’ve put on way too much weight, and haven’t done any serious exercise since quitting my night job. So…I’m fat and out of shape. Sucks to be me. The only reason I’m not freaking out over that is that I know the class is survivable and enjoyable…and in less than a month, I’m going to weigh a lot less, and be able to crush just about anybody. Being unfit feels tired and nappy all the time, being fit feels like…the world is a tiny little deer, and you are a giant, hungry tiger. It’s good. Everything is easier.

So, for those of you planning on coming to class tonight: Bring food. Bring water. Bring lightweight shoes and workout clothes you can sweat heavily in. If you have them or can get them, bring: a rubber knife trainer, a sparring rapier, gloves, gorget and mask, and a pair of pushup bars or foam pilates/yoga blocks. You might also want a change of clothes for afterwards.

The food you want to bring will be something small and calorie dense, heavy on the carbs with some protein added. My favourite is usually a home-made trail mix made with mostly a variety of home-roasted nuts, raisins, and some chocolate chips tossed in. During the food break, I will eat about two handfuls. I’ll have one handful before class. You can bring food designed for runners…gels or blocks, but maybe not powerbars. They are too chewy, and I won’t give you that much time to eat. Whatever you can eat or drink in two minutes.  It’s also a good idea to have something a little heavier for right after class, too. It’s really your excuse to drink a litre of chocolate milk, if that floats your boat… Drink water before class, during the food break, and after class.

Lightweight shoes. Shoes you can dance in. Flexible soles are a must. You can make it a class or two in the sort of heavy boot/shoes people seem to like these days, but it will destroy your form and make the class hard to get through, so you will want to move away from them as fast as possible. Barefoot is fine if you are okay with that.

And lightweight workout clothes are good too. You are going to sweat. Big baggy clothes are not going to be comfy at all. Cotton t-shirts will stick to you like saran wrap, and the salt build-up can cause painful chafing. Again, make do with whatever you want for the first class…everyone else will be! But keep in mind what will make things easier. And walking home in those wet clothes probably won’t feel to good either.

Oh, and for pity’s sake, shower before you leave the house. No perfume. Be clean. And leave all the jewelry at home. Body piercings should be removed before coming to class…if for no other reason than that they tend to get lost easily…

Trainers…rubber knives. You’ll need them for the 5×5 drill. We can get by with one trainer per pair, but it goes a lot smoother if there are two per pair. Warriors and Wonders has them in stock. The cold steel Peace Keeper, Recon Tanto and Military Classic are good choices, at under $10 each. I used to own a pair of these guys, back when they were made by Al Mar, and I loved them. They seem to have drifted away, though. Sigh. If you want to spend a little more, I can really recommend that model as a great trainer.

Rapier, leather gauntlet gloves, mask and gorget…honestly, if you don’t own one, or haven’t fought with one before, don’t sweat it. The first class is going to be somewhat more relaxed as we get into the swing of things, so even if we don’t have enough loaner gear, you will probably get a chance to try a few things out and think about what you might want to acquire for future classes. If you do own one, you probably own more than one, so bring spare gear! Ideally I would like to see everyone doing some contact drilling and sparring with rapier on the first night…ideally…

Pushup bars or foam pilates/yoga blocks may or may not be needed. We’ll be doing L-sits and other exercises and doing them on the floor without support is beyond challenging. Blocks make it easier. We usually use chairs in class, but I am unsure if there are chairs available for us to use, so…better safe than sorry. Again, you don’t need them, but they are nice to have.

And lastly, the change of clothes for afterwards? I fully plan to hit the closest pub for a cold one after class, and you probably want to join me…

See you tonight!