Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bootcamp Week 4 Wrap-up: Major Mental Milestone

I almost puked at bootcamp yesterday.

That would have been a decidedly different milestone, for sure.

Yesterday was circuit testing day, my first.

Several weeks ago I had heard they do this from time to time and I tried to forget about it. It brought back too many bad memories of the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, at which I was a spectacular and consistent failure.

So when I walked into the gym yesterday and saw the following lineup on the whiteboard, my stomach dropped:

100 medicine ball tosses
100 side to side jumps
100 squat jumps
100 crunches
100 Mountain climbers
100 rows
100 military presses
100 straight leg lifts, etc.

I think there were a few more and I blocked them out.

The trainer announced it was testing day. We had the entire class (50 minutes) to complete the lineup, but the object was to race against the clock and do it as quickly as we could. The trainers keep track of our results and we can compare against future testing days to see our progress.

My first thought: I'll never finish. Seriously, 100? Of each?

I had an immediate vision of it being 2 p.m. and I'm still there grinding out squat jumps.

After warmups, the clock started and we were off. I did my 100 medicine ball tosses, then decided it was stupid to do all 100 of everything in a row. So I began alternating between exercises doing, say, 40 squat jumps, then moving on to 50 military presses. I bounced from exercise to exercise, chipping away as best I could while our trainer kept tallies and informed us what we had left.

Amazingly, I was down to about 40 Mountain climbers and 40 military presses when I started feeling nauseous. Not sure if I drank too much water or too little, or was pushing too hard, but I did not feel well. It wasn't 911-puking level, but I was in the neighborhood.

But, with so little left, I was not DNFing it.

I ground out the final reps, gave the trainer a head's-up and saw my time: 35:11. 35:11! I finished.

That's been the most surprising byproduct of bootcamp: Confidence.

I expected great fat burning and muscle-building, but I never anticipated how the classes would boost my confidence.

It seems as if I go into most fitness adventures with the predisposition that I will fail. It's not on purpose, but rather the cumulation of a lifetime's worth of attitudes on this subject.

But lately, since running and bootcamp, I've been really challenging myself and, in turn, surprising myself, too.

It's turned a world of I can't and I won't into I'll try and I will.

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