Kickboxing Queen (And the Wallpaper Lined Bookshelf)

Wallpaper Lined Chalkpainted Bookshelf

I need to go to the gym.  It’s been months since I have been there, and my body is looking sad. I think I would enjoy a class but the last time I did, terrible, bad things happened.

Once upon a time, I decided to take a kickboxing class. I had a Tae Bo video, and I frequently did that 20 minute video like a golden gloves champ, so how different could an organized class be?  For starters … this 60 minute class more than doubled my workout time.

So, I walk into the class, and I notice everyone in there looks abnormally fit (red flag #1). In walks our perky, blonde, buff instructor:  Debbie. Debbie yells out in her bubbly voice “Let’s go!” (making that circle around motion like a sergeant in the movies), and without a word, everyone bolts from the room (red flag #2).

I’m intrigued.  Where the heck are the going? Maybe it’s over?  Best.Class.Ever.

So I follow their lead to the track. This is not looking good. I don’t run. Ever, unless it involves a sale.  I can’t help but wonder if I have come to the wrong class?

We take our lap, and I’m not in first place but I’m not in last place, so I’m feeling pretty good about myself. Hold up! Why am I the only one stopping (red flag #3)?  By the end of lap 2, I’m slowing down a little and starting to get a stitch in my side. We’ve got to be finished now. But heck no, everyone is still running, and now lapping me.

On lap 3, I’m more jogging than running per se, some invisible entity is running beside me, kicking me in the ribs, and I can’t breathe.

Oh Baby Jesus, we are on lap 4, and I’m going to die! My jogging is looking pretty sad, and everyone has now passed me multiple times. This is getting embarrassing.

By lap 8 I’m jogging/hobbling and literally holding my side which feels like it could blow at any moment, and I haven’t been able to breathe for the last 3 laps. Kill me now.  And no, Mr. Retiree with your Furr’s Cafeteria hat, I don’t need help!

In the end we ran twelve laps! (When I say we, I mean them because after all the times they lapped me I probably only ran/jogged/hobbled/crawled 9 laps).  I am now going to die. I have never run 9 laps in my entire life. Nor did I ever want to. I have never gasped for breath like this. Ever.

Everyone then starts running back to the workout room. Thank God we are done! Not much of a kickboxing class, but whatever.  Still a good workout.  I look in the mirror, and my face is so insanely red and people were giving me concerned looks. Stop looking at me! I know I look like a freak!

So I head to the back of the room to get my keys, and perky Debbie asks if everyone is ready? Ready for what? “Let’s get started!”  Start what? The class? There’s more? Note to management: Debbie’s crazy.

I. Am. Done.

But then everyone starts bouncing around, and I am trapped in the back. Stuck. Debbie starts us doing lunges from one side of the room to the other, 10 times! My legs are shaking so bad I know they are going to give out any second. Debbie bellows, “Doesn’t that burn feel good?”

I hate you Debbie. I hate your perky, enthusiastic voice. I hate your perky, bouncy curls. I hate that we have done 200 lunges, and I’m soaked in sweat, and she isn’t even glistening. Now we move to squats, thousands of them, and my hips, thighs, and butt are on fire.

I cannot keep going. Every time I look at the clock through my sweat, only 2 minutes have passed. This is never ending.

Then we do kicks, and punches, and I think I may be hyperventilating. We stop and take our pulse. There’s a chart on the wall that measures where your pulse should be. Orange level is moderate heart rate, next is the red zone – accelerated, then purple is the danger zone. At that point I’m so far off the chart I think we need to call the paramedics.

Back to another 20 minutes of lunge/kick/squat things, and I think I’m about to pass out. You know when you start getting clammy and you start to see twinklies? Yep that was me.  The birdies were beginning to circle my head.

Debbie says 5 more minutes! I wonder if I can drive my car up here afterward to run over Debbie. I know this is her job, but this must be what hell is like. Running, then doing an insane class, with Debbie, that includes exhausting every muscle in my body.

Finally class is over! By this point everyone is staring at me, and Debbie asks if I’m okay. Seriously? I simply sit on the floor and pretend to tie my shoe, but in reality I just trying to buy some time since I can’t walk. Everyone leaves the room, and I just sit there while muscles I didn’t I know I had began to violently spasm. I look in the mirror and realize why everyone was staring.

My face is purple. Well past bright red, I had progressed to some unknown shade of violet. This cant be good.  I know that the path to my car takes me down a flight of stairs, and I’m not sure I can do it. I thought about using my cell to call my hubby and have him carry me out of there, but my pride wouldn’t have it. I thought about going down the stairs one at time on my numb, soon-to-be-in-agony butt; however, I was able to muster the strength and cling to the stair rail and prayed my jelly-filled legs wouldn’t give out.

I got to my car and just sat…for a looong time. I wasn’t sure if my convulsing body could drive. 30 minutes later I fall through the front door and limp to the sofa. My husband walks by and yells “Oh My God! What happened to you?”

Debbie. Debbie happened to me.

For the next week it was excruciating to walk, sit, stand, cough and pretty much breath. I would intentionally not drink anything throughout the day just so I wouldn’t have to go through the pain of sitting down on the toilet (TMI. Sorry). I was in sad shape.

I would like to say that was my last workout class I took but there may have been a bad incident with a step class after that … but that’s a story for another day. I now know my limitations and would rather spend 20 minutes with Billy Blanks and his skin tight blue unitard any day than ever see Debbie again.

Speaking of work outs, wallpapering the back of this bookshelf was a workout in itself.  It was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. I have stained wallpaper before but never painted it.

It took 5 coats of paint. I painted the bookshelf with ivory chalky paint, glazed it with a brown paint glaze, distressed it and waxed it. I attached the wallpaper with a spray adhesive (that was also hard since you had to position it very quickly before it started to dry). After the paper was on I coated it with a poly to harden it. I was pretty happy at the way it turned out.



Bookshelf Before Pic


Wallpaper Lined Bookshelf

Wallpaper Lined Bookshelf

Wallpaper Lined Bookshelf

Wallpaper Decoupaged Bookshelf




  1. Cash says

    Oh Shanna, I did not know you we’re so very funny! I was laughing so hard at your work out story! Probably b/c it sounds like something I would do. On a lighter note, the book shelf is amazing. I am now looking at furniture to re-purpose, but my hubby tells me no!! We have no room for anything else, not to mention his mom is very DIY with crafts. :/ so for now I get to look at all of your superb work and be jealous of your talent and ability to be so patient.

    • Shanna says

      Thank you my dear friend! It’s just the craziness that’s in my head spilling out. Hope you and your darling girls are good!

  2. Ivy says

    Hi Shanna, just wanted to let you know I love your blog! I love the way you tell a story and end with a beautiful piece of furniture. I recommend your site to all my friends, keep the stories coming!

  3. says

    I love your story! I remember when I couldn’t run a mile without feeling miserable the rest of the day, now I love to run! I ran 3 half marathons this summer. You are capable of more than you know! Keep it up! I love how the bookshelf turned out.

  4. says

    hahaha! So funny. I mean … I’m sorry that you turned purple and everything, but it made for a very entertaining tale! Also, I am very familiar with Billy and his unitard. Also, I love the bookcase!

  5. says

    You are hilarious. This made me laugh. Oh, and the bookshelf looks good too. Thanks for sharing. Found you through a link party, sorry don’t remember which one.

  6. says

    Oh Shanna! You made me laugh til I cried! The book case is pretty and I’m so happy to say YOU WERE THE WINNER at Carters Cottage! We’ll chat soon!

  7. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says

    Your bookshelf is darling! And I loved your story too! I just had dinner with a friend tonight and we talked about how long it’s been since we’ve been to the gym. Now we feel like we need to work out and get back in shape before we hit the gym just so we can we try to keep up! Believe me, there is more than one Debbie out there!

  8. Tessa says

    That post had me laughing so hard that I had to stop reading so I could gasp for air several times! You’re hilarious!

    The wallpaper adds so much interest to the blue paint… I absolutely love it. You are so creative!

  9. says

    Sunday Spotlight interview on One Tough Mother led me here. So glad it did!! I used to love those Tae Bo vids as the gym classes scared me silly (I know only too well the type of leader you mean!!). Know I’m stuck in a wheelchair I’ve had to find other ways to exercise, and I use a DVD where you exercise sitting down, an online website that can be used the same way, and I’m just about to train to be a wheelchair dancing instructor so I can teach ballroom, ballet, Bollywood and more… Going to be both fun and scary!!
    Love the furniture you make/repurpose, and will definitely be reading again.
    Donna x

  10. ilce says

    Hi shanna I just found your bookshelf on pinterest and its exactly what I’ve been trying to find instructions for on how to do this to my bookshelf but I can’t find anything anywhrere! Is there any way you would be able to put up diy instructions? Its beautiful


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