Friday, April 1, 2011

In which it's Bootcamp, Day 1

Remember the old Army slogan, "We do more before 9 am than most people do all day"?

I now know why it's true - they went to bootcamp.

Hell's bells, what an experience. I've never worked out so hard in my life.

Thanks to a spring snowstorm, only me and two other members of the 9-person class were on hand, but that was actually a good thing, given two of us were new.

After the warmup, we were on the ground doing (or trying to do) ab work and at one point I tuned into the music playing in the background:

Welcome to the jungle, baby/You're gonna diiiiiiiiiiiie

All I could think was, "That is a distinct possibility."

After the warmup and ab work came the 6-station circuit. Two exercises at each station, 2 minutes each. A 15-second rest between each minute. There was a mix of everything: cardio, strength training, upper body, lower body, you name it.

Some of the stations had equipment for the exercise. One didn't and I realized that's the one you will hate the most because it means you're doing horrible stuff like planks, Mountainclimbers, some insane move in which you're on the ground balancing off the ground on one arm and, hell, I don't remember, except it wasn't fun.

Did you ever watch a show like The Biggest Loser and watch Bob or Jillian (most likely, Jillian) holler at a contestant, telling them to step it up. And you're sitting on the couch, drinking a Diet Coke and wondering why that person isn't pushing harder? I do. I'll sit there and wonder why they're not giving it more. Today I realize why: They're friggin' exhausted.

At one point I was near the end of the circuit and the exercise was punching the concrete wall wearing boxing gloves. I've seen them do this on Biggest Loser and other shows. That looks easy. And fun! I'm going to crush that. Um, by that station I was exhausted. My punches were so pathetic, my arms were tired and heavy, and I realized if I was watching myself on TV, I'd be all, "Why is she dogging it?!?" LOL, payback is a bitch.

So, yes, it was a challenging predawn extravaganza, but sometimes going outside your comfort zone is what you need to really grow and go further than you ever have before. Three months ago I stepped on a treadmill and after running 60 seconds was sucking wind dangerously hard. Now, just 12 weeks later, I can run 35-40 minutes safely for a great workout. Running was definitely outside my comfort zone. And, insanely, now running looks like the "easy" workout.

If my workout today was a DVD I could do at home, I would have FF'd through half of it. Going to the gym and being with other people and a trainer forced me to move outside my comfort zone and try - at least try. Some things I did well. Most I didn't, but that's OK. Everyone has a first day. I loved being moved outside that comfort zone because it forced my hand. If left to my own devices, I'd do only what I knew I could do.

I can only imagine where I'll be in 6 months. I will have Batman-like strength and fitness.

After cool down stretches I sat up. The trainer (who, by the way, was great) walked by and said, "Are you OK?"

"I'm great."

And I meant it.


  1. Great post!

    I wish I could've gone with you this morning. It does get easier...well, no, not easier -- you get better. :-)

  2. Working out is the best gift you can give yourself, I've learned. I've been out of the game for a couple of weeks due to flu and I am dying to get back to my trainer. Congrats, Melissa!