I am not a violent person.
I have never been in a fight. I don't like mindless violence in the media. I avoid confrontation in my day-to-day life. Yet, I love pretending to hit people in exercise classes.
The Body Combat class that I go to is awesomely serious, broken down not into intervals or routines like most classes, but into battles- with an instructor who urges us to picture grabbing an opponent by the hair, and pulling their head down to smash into our knees, as we do out basic aerobic moves. He shouts to aim for the throat, the groin, the stomach as thirty women (and two middleaged guys) punch, slice and kick the air in front of them to Pink screaming away in the background. We are our favourite action heroes, we are in the Matrix, we will be the victors. And then we stop at the end of the song and drink more water.
It ends with a Salt and Pepa song, press-ups and sit-ups, and the vague suspicion that this is some twisted adolescent sexual fantasy on the part of whoever dreamt up this routine- a room full of sweaty, violent women doing their bidding.